This one is a no-brainer for blog action day. The UK’s Committee for Climate Change has called for it, Boris Johnson of all people includes it in his air quality strategy, and it will help people save money as energy bills rise.
The Government should set-up a boiler scrappage scheme (and you should sign the petition). Let people trade in old, inefficient boilers for new ones, or at least to get a massive discount. They did it for cars to help an ailing industry, why not do it with boilers to promote jobs across the country, cut carbon and help vulnerable households?
This fun little gimmick is of course one small piece of the unprecedented housing puzzle. How exactly do we cut emissions from heating, cooling and electricity by 90-100% across all the nation’s buildings in the next twenty to thirty years? The technical challenges are big enough, and with limp government exemplified by Labour up until a year or so ago – and matched by weak Conservative plans – getting the financing in place is a tricky subject.
But the hardest part will be selling it to the public. Loft insulation and new boilers are fine – more efficiency without visible changes. What about cladding that nice brick / pebbledash / stone house with external insulation? What about reducing some room sizes for internal wall cladding?
We need political parties that can implement this boiler scrappage scheme today, and begin to seriously address the wider challenge over the next two decades. We need MPs who are committed to a Green New Deal.