In Parliament I am a member of the Environmental Audit Committee. On this committee, I scrutinise what the Government departments and public bodies are doing about environmental policies and environmental protection.
We recently held an inquiry into heat resilience and sustainable cooling.
Our report was published today. You can read it here.
In recent years we have seen increasingly extreme record-breaking temperatures. These are just a small part of what is to come, as the result of global heating caused by fossil fuel emissions.
Exposure to extreme heat is called a ‘silent killer’. World Weather Attribution has labelled it “among the deadliest natural hazards”. Our Committee’s report has sounded the alarm about the possibility of heatwaves claiming up to 10,000 lives annually in the UK if action is not taken.
Our Committee has recommended urgent steps are taken to promote nature-based solutions, such as passive cooling. For example, “Parks, trees, water bodies and green infrastructure – such as green roofs – can have significant cooling effects and also help biodiversity and air quality.”
Housing also needs to be future-proofed. I have previously called for a national retrofitting programme in my Private Members Bill on Energy Equity, and the Committee has similarly called for “existing initiatives on insulation and energy efficiency should be developed into a national retrofit programme which should be delivered by local authorities, supported by long term funding, focusing on insulation and ventilation, as well as passive measures, above active cooling mechanisms.”
Read more about the inquiry’s conclusions here.