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Government unveils its green commitment

The new government has announced plans to reduce its own carbon footprint by 10 per cent, to set an example to the rest of UK business.

In unveiling the plan, David Cameron said “I want us to be the greenest government ever.”

The government estate covers 250,000 hectares and is responsible for 1 per cent of UK carbon emissions or 600,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The benchmark will be the Department for Energy and Climate Change which cut its energy use by nearly a third over the past year through an overhaul of its air conditioning system.

A spokeswoman said: “A number of changes have been made to the air conditioning system in 3 Whitehall Place over the past 18 months.”

“These have included installation of variable speed pumps to ensure that energy used is in proportion to the cooling demand.

“Future works include installation of passive infrared sensor controls of fan coil units in meeting rooms and cellular offices.”

Measures have already been introduced at the Prime Minister’s residence, ranging from intelligent lighting systems to a new heating and cooling system to replace the 40-year-old boiler.

The push towards green building is expected to progress quickly under the watch of the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Liberal Democrats’ Chris Huhne.

The Lib Dems had arguably the most extensive range of environmental commitments in its manifesto of all the three main parties, who all made a number of sustainability pledges.

The coalition will fully establish feed-in tariff systems in electricity while pursuing its own provision for home energy
improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills.

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