WWF has announced its resignation from the Zero Carbon Taskforce with immediate effect following the Government's decision to change policy without prior discussion. Released in documents accompanying the Budget, Government decided that the definition of Zero Carbon Homes will no longer include the emissions from unregulated energy use within the home. By removing appliances and their energy use from the definition this policy can no longer be defined as “zero carbon” argues WWF.

“The change effectively transfers the task of providing clean energy for these homes from the house builder to the wider power sector. It will make decarbonising the grid by 2030 (as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change) that much harder and by transferring the costs from the house builder/homeowner to energy bill payers in general, what was a private cost for a homeowner now becomes a cost for the general public regardless of income and ability to pay,” the organisation said on its website.

“WWF can therefore no longer work with the taskforce, nor support the policy.”

Over the past four years the building industry and supply chains had seen house builders and suppliers gearing up to deliver this zero carbon homes policy from 2016. Many companies were gearing up their supply chains in the expectation of tough housing standards, however, the decision has undermined their progress, and sends the worst possible signal to companies that have planned their investments on the basis of the original zero carbon homes policy, says WWF.

Colin Butfield, Head of Campaigns at the organization said, “Since 2007, WWF has been dedicated to working with the Zero Carbon Taskforce on a pioneering piece of housing policy. So it is a shattering blow to find out, without consultation, that the Government has taken a decision to undermine both climate and housing legislation. WWF is left with no choice but to resign from the taskforce as the ‘zero carbon’ homes policy comes tumbling down.”