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Climate Change

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken to adapt to climate change in the last two years. (277649)

In February 2008 the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) published its Sustainable Operations Policy. The document details the Department’s commitment to ensuring our internal activities are sustainable and that our performance continually improves. The policy covers the key areas of climate change and energy, sustainable consumption and production, and natural resource protection. It addresses all the targets and mandates for Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) requiring, for example, that all new departmental buildings, major refurbishments and office relocation projects fully consider and as appropriate include measures that recognise the need for appropriate procurement, adaptation and resilience to future climate conditions during the design process.

Specific measures taken during the last two years have included fitting solar film to glazing (to reduce solar gain), and commissioning a heat recovery feasibility study at Eland House, which identifies options for reducing the CLG estate’s contribution to the urban heat island effect.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of her Department's potential gross (a) costs and (b) savings arising from its climate change adaptation measures in the next three years. (277728)

The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently in the process of calculating the potential gross costs and savings arising from planned climate change adaptation measures across the HQ estate over the next three years.

There are a number of adaptation measures being considered, such as the application of additional solar film and installation of heat recovery systems, but these options have not yet been fully appraised. Having assessed the potential short term risks to the Department's estate from climate change the primary focus at present remains on climate change mitigation.