The Camden New Journal has published the letter below about the Government’s latest and very welcome moves to reduce emissions from gas boilers. Gas boilers are by far the largest source of CO2 emissions in Camden, and if Camden doesn’t act on boilers, it can’t be serious about climate change.
I WAS really pleased to see the Prime Minister announce last week that the government is launching a successor scheme to the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI).
This means green energy schemes – such as replacing gas boilers with renewable-powered heat pumps and solar panels – will continue to get support from central government.
Gas boilers emit twice as much CO2 in Camden as all transport combined, and they emit three times as much CO2 per kWh as electricity generation does, so it is vital to ensure the future use of gas is minimised.
Two days before the Prime Minister’s commitment, Camden Conservatives proposed that Camden halts installing replacement gas boilers on Camden’s own housing estates until all renewable options have been exhausted. This was rejected by Labour.
Camden’s response to questions from the Citizens’ Assembly on whether grants were available to move away from gas was that the scheme would expire in 2021, so there was no guarantee that low-emission systems would remain financially viable.
Now that they will be Camden needs to take stock. Installing expensive communal boilers on estates now would not just cost huge amounts of money, but lock Camden into high-emission systems that would be costly to replace later.
Camden should immediately halt its plans for new gas boilers except where individual boiler replacement is urgent and necessary, and wait until the details of RHI’s replacement scheme are announced.
It should also use the opportunity to give feedback that the government can use in its design for RHI’s replacement, so that it suits Camden’s circumstances.
If Camden is serious about going green – as Britain is serious – it needs to seize the opportunity that Boris Johnson has given our borough.
For more about my campaign on reducing pollution, click here.