Did the Tory-led Coalition set the zero-carbon target?

Cambridge's Conservative candidate, Chamali Fernando made this claim at the environment debate at Anglia Ruskin University. (See my various videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwEUs8UyvFASTjUkBiapTmUY5YxvNnsb8)


  1. This was the only time the Chair, Dr Aled Jones of ARU's Global Sustainability Institute pulled up any of the candidates on an error of fact.
  2. Ms Fernando responded with the above-claim - citing the statement below:
  3. Sustainable buildings & climate change (Autumn 2007-summer 2008) was the most intense & high pressure policy area in Whitehall I had ever worked in. To this day I tell people I aged 10 years in 10 months in that furnace. Part of that involved going around the country telling developers about the then government's policy of changing the law through Building Regulations to make all new-build homes more sustainable, and ultimately zero carbon from 2016. Therefore if anyone from any party makes an error in explaining policy development in a policy and an historic context (I am a historian at heart) - in particular one I worked on, I'm going to pick them up on it.
  4. ...So I went to town.
  5. The above is a link to the original policy statement, put out just before I moved to climate change policy.
  6. During my time there, I organised the filming & production of a video all about sustainable new homes - featuring two of the ministers at the time. Although the film is not available anymore, the transcript is. Copy & paste  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120919132719/http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/doc/3814771.doc 
  7. I posted the following tweets:
  8. These exemptions according to the article below will exempt a fifth of new-build houses.
  9. Those exemptions would have been the result of lobbying & representations by the house-building industry - see below.
  10. The policy change was not without its critics