For Christopher Jofeh, the Chairman of Decarbonisation of Homes in the Wales Advisory Group; climate change is on the forefront of his agenda.
On a previous occasion, he has said that
“tackling climate change offers the prospect of real benefits to all our citizens: cleaner air, improved health and new economic opportunities from clean growth.”
Christopher’s work, which is centered on the decarbonisation of Welsh homes, focuses on how this offers enormous opportunities to create a vibrant and socially-just economy. He sat down with Business News Wales to discuss the matter.
Christopher reiterates that the Welsh Government understands the importance of tackling climate change and the role that decarbonising our housing stock needs to play in that. He says that it is investing in a large-scale field trial, known as the Optimised Retrofit Programme, to test ideas about residential decarbonisation, and has committed further funding for a second phase of the trial.
Currently, Welsh Government policy is to target a very high standard, the highest in the UK, for the energy efficiency of every existing home in Wales, and that social landlords, both housing associations and local authorities, should lead the way. Christopher describes how two significant challenges will take time to be overcome: making the right funding available for all tenures, and creating the conditions in which owner-occupiers choose to decarbonize their homes and find it easy to do so well.
“There is no silver bullet – change at this scale requires a holistic approach that recognizes that the social and financial challenges are as important, if not more so, than the technical ones.”
But what goals are Christopher and his team looking to achieve? He follows on to say:
“Many key areas must be addressed: funding and the availability of a large skilled workforce are two obvious ones. There remain some technical unknowns, which can be researched fairly readily.
But the biggest task follows recognition that owner-occupiers do not act in isolation. They are influenced by many people and organizations, some of whom are shown on the attached diagram. We need to identify how we want all these influencers to behave so that every private landlord and every owner-occupier has the capability, the opportunity and the motivation to decarbonise their homes.”