Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Carwyn welcomes new powers to deliver sustainability in Wales

Welsh Labour Leadership candidate, Carwyn Jones, today welcomed the announcement that building regulations will be transferred to Welsh Ministers - leading the way for the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure buildings are more energy efficient and sustainable.

In a constitutional move laid before both Houses of Parliament, the Transfer of Functions Order has received final approval from Parliamentary Council, with full powers for Wales being effective by 31st December 2011.

Commenting on the news, Carwyn said:

"I am delighted that these powers have been given final approval. It will allow the Welsh Assembly Government to set the agenda for sustainable buildings and ensure reduced carbon emissions in this area.

"Making homes more sustainable goes a long way in helping homeowners and tenants across Wales meet the cost of rising fuel bills and also contribute towards our 3% targets on climate change from 2011.

"This is a major step towards achieving the Welsh Assembly Government’s aspiration to make all new buildings zero carbon.

"When you consider that the built environment accounts for approximately 40% of all the UK's carbon emissions, it is clear that action is urgently needed to help us deliver on our sustainability commitments. As I spelt out in my manifesto, I believe these powers will enable Wales to do just that."

The Welsh Assembly Government will consult fully on any proposed changes to building regulations, including an assessment of the costs and benefits and impact on other policy commitments.

In his recently published manifesto, 'A Time to Lead', Carwyn pledged to use Wales' new building regulations responsibilities "for 100% improvement in energy efficiency for new buildings".

Amongst other initiatives to tackle climate change through the built environment, Carwyn also pledged to:
  • increase the emphasis on green jobs with investment in insulation and renewables to tackle climate change and to boost the construction industry;
  • make renewables key and building a critical mass of renewable investment; and
  • develop a comprehensive programme of retro-fitting renewables and insulation to social and private housing that will also boost the construction industry, building on schemes such as the Heads of the Valleys low carbon programme.


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