WE at the Richmond Constituency Green Party feel the Tory commitment to green housing is a sham. The Housing Secretary announced a “green housing revolution” but this falls woefully short of requirements.

Requiring carbon emissions to be reduced by up to 80 per cent is not good enough. There are no minimum requirements mentioned so it looks like an opportunity to get away with only minimal improvements.

Heating and cooling of homes is vital and, by using heat pumps, can be done with a very minimal amounts of carbon being released. “Zero bill” homes are already available – and the public should expect these for the entire lifetime of their home.

The Future Homes Standard consultation aims to cut carbon emissions by only one third. But carbon neutral houses have already been constructed – and they can be cheaper than standard construction methods but with the added advantage of virtually zero heating bills.

Previous zero carbon targets for housing report were scrapped by the Government in 2015 in a report called Fixing the Foundations. This latest consultation only serves to push taking action on the climate emergency further into the future.

The consultation runs until January 2020, but changes aren’t going to be implemented until 2025. Is this another report waiting to be shelved?

To provide the housing people deserve, with the degree of comfort they require can only be achieved by the proposals set out by the Green Party.

The Green Party would ensure large scale refurbishment programs would greatly increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings and new buildings would be built to energy efficient very low carbon standards.

Dr Matthew Sawyer, Richmond constituency Green Party coordinator.