Cities could make a significant contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at zero net cost, according to a report published today
The authors of the report find that these developments have a payback period of just two years, on average. After this payback period, the developments would continue to deliver savings and the returns could be reinvested in other low-carbon developments in the city.
Lead author Professor Andrew Gouldson of the University of Bristol said: "A low-carbon economy is a no-brainer from an economic point of view, as well as an environmental one.
The report states: "Our findings suggest that investment in the early stages of the low-carbon transition can appeal to local decision-makers and investors on direct, short-term economic grounds. This indicates that climate mitigation ought to feature prominently in economic development strategies as well as in the environment and sustainability strategies that are often more peripheral to, and less influential in, city-scale decision-making."
For instance, low-carbon investment of £11.6 billion in Leeds City Region – which includes the local authority districts of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York – could deliver annual emission reductions of 21.8 per cent in 2025 relative to projected levels, and at no net cost to the region.
The report finds that residential buildings could be responsible for almost a third of the Leeds City Region's total emissions reductions by 2025. Investment of £1.1 billion in the domestic sector would create savings of £400 million each year, paying back investment within three years and saving billions therein.
For Leeds residents, this could see the widespread introduction of mini-wind turbines with a feed-in tariff, biomass boilers with a renewable heat incentive and solid wall insulation.
I just hope some politicians somewhere will take serious notice of this! (although some are already taking similar measures to the above )
With these savings economically paying for themselves within just 3 years, unless you have the philosophy of short-termism to the extreme, surely it would be extremely stupid NOT to do this whichever way you look at it!