Minister welcomes potential new powers to deliver sustainability in Wales

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Devolving Building Regulations to Wales would open the way for the Welsh Assembly Government to change the way new buildings are built – making them more energy efficient and sustainable.

Environment Minister Jane Davidson today (20th July) welcomed the move, which was a key One Wales commitment to better fight climate change and promote more sustainable development.

Ms Davidson said:

  • “I am delighted that through working with the UK Government the order has been laid to allow the Assembly Government to set building regulations in Wales.
  • “Devolved regulations will allow the Assembly Government to make changes in the requirements for new buildings to be more energy efficient.
  • “Increasing standards will help us meet the aspiration for all new buildings in Wales to be zero carbon and reduce our carbon footprint ahead of the UK Government target for new housing of 2016 and potentially 2020 for non-domestic new build.
  • “Making homes more sustainable will help homeowners and tenants across Wales to keep their energy costs down and also contribute towards our 3% targets on climate change from 2011.”

Any proposed changes would be the subject of full and open consultation including an assessment of the costs and benefits and the impact on other policy commitments.

The built environment has a major impact on both climate change and sustainable development and action is urgently needed to redress the sustainability imbalance. The built environment generates around 40% of all carbon emissions in the UK.

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