The front pages of the newspapers I walked past this morning on the way to work were full of the Queen demonstrating how to plant a tree, Andy Murray and Serena Williams celebrating their mixed-doubles victory, leaked ambassadorial emails and Tory leadership shenanigans.

In other news, the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s advisory body on climate change, has issued what's arguably its most damning report to date on the Government’s performance against its carbon targets.

The report says that “over the past year, the Government has delivered just 1 of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track, while “action to prepare our homes, businesses and natural environment for a warming world is less ambitious than it was ten years ago.”

The good news is, we already know it is possible to create great places to live that are also designed and built in line with the scale of ambition needed to prevent truly catastrophic climate breakdown.

Last month I dared feel a bit more positive about our prospects when our Government became the first in the world to enshrine in law a commitment to getting to net zero emissions by 2050. But as the Committee on Climate Change highlights, there's little use setting targets if they’re not followed by meaningful action to achieve them.

With the UK set to host next year’s crucial COP26 Summit, all eyes will be on us to see if we manage to claw back the global leadership position we once held on tackling climate change.

I'm not holding my breath. Let’s be real, we all know the Government will continue to be mired in the Brexit crisis until the end of the year and beyond.

Decisive action on the climate crisis – the crisis that dwarfs all others – is needed on so many fronts. At Bioregional, the action starts with our homes, which account for at least 14% of the UK's climate-heating emissions.

Housebuilders have an opportunity to take some bold, brave steps and show the leadership that is so badly needed, regardless of what unfolds in Westminster over the coming months.

The good news is, we already know it is possible to create great places to live that are also designed and built in line with the scale of ambition needed to prevent truly catastrophic climate breakdown.

As the Committee on Climate Change highlights, there's little use setting targets if they’re not followed by meaningful action to achieve them.

Yesterday I showed Sky News reporter Helen-Ann Smith around BedZED, the eco-community that we worked with partners to create. Completed in 2002, it remains one of the few examples of a zero-carbon community. With its energy-efficient homes, solar panels, green roofs and easy access to public transport - not to mention its friendly atmosphere - it’s a wonderful place to live and work.

Our work on BedZED inspired us to create the One Planet Living framework and its ten simple principles, which has since been used on more than $30 bn of real estate development throughout the world. One Planet Living is easy to explain, works across all sectors, and crucially, is based on real people and how they live their lives. It just works.

The full Sky News report by Helen-Ann Smith

Helen-Ann asked me why there aren’t more BedZEDs across the country, and what the incentive is for more zero-carbon communities to be built. I told her that eco-homes tend to sell well, so that’s one good reason. But this answer was too narrow - it reflects the standard way of thinking about the so-called 'business case' for sustainable development. And as my colleague Anthony Probert wrote recently, the standard approach isn’t working. We need to think about housing development very differently.

For Bioregional, that different way of thinking means using our One Planet Living framework to more create ecologically, socially and financially successful communities that everyone can be proud of - and that leave a positive legacy for future generations. Work with us and we can show you how.

Oh, and bravo Sky News for giving today’s shocking story the importance it deserves.

Learn more about Bioregional’s approach to creating sustainable homes and communities. We have also set up Bioregional Homes to build our own affordable, zero-carbon developments.

Share this article