Sheffield Greens call for more action by developers to tackle Climate Change.

Following the outcome of COP26, Green Councillors in Sheffield have called on developers to take more action to tackle climate change in new developments. Green Councillors argued that developers need to show what they are doing on the climate crisis and help improve building standards, with a majority of Sheffield City Councillors backing the proposal.

Green Councillor Angela Argenzio who led the proposal said “COP26 fell well short of what was needed to maintain a stable climate so at the local level we need to work even harder to reduce carbon emissions. Energy efficiency standards in UK building regulations are poor compared to many places across Europe. New homes are using more energy, producing more greenhouse gases and costing the people who live there more than they should to heat and power them.”

Greens called on the Council to ensure that all developers submitting a Planning Application complete a Developers Climate Change Declaration detailing what they will do beyond the minimum requirements of building regulations to address climate change.

Councillor Angela Argenzio
Cllr Angela Argenzio calls for annual recognition of the best practice by developers in new buildings.

Developers would be required to specify how they would reduce energy demand in new homes and buildings, what local and low carbon materials they will use, how they will reduce the risk of flooding and how they will protect nature in their development. Evidence gathered from the submissions will be used to lobby Government for improved building regulations.

“What we really need is for the Government to simply improve the law so developers are required to build to the very highest standards. In the absence of strong government policies the Council can highlight and promote the very best practice of developers locally and also shine a light on those builders who are doing the bare minimum.” said Councillor Argenzio

“The Developers Climate Change Declaration is both a carrot and a stick” said Cllr Peter Garbutt who seconded the Green Group motion in Council. Peter argues that “It will encourage developers who go the extra mile to super insulate and use renewables as well as ensuring those who build to the lowest standard are visible to local people. It also makes no sense to build to a low standard now and then come back in a few years to make them energy efficient at great expense. We want all homes to be Green homes and this motion is an important step in that direction.”

This is just the latest initiative by Green Councillors, following measures aiming to improve public transport, promote grants to help small businesses cut carbon-emissions, and implement a Clean Air Zone.