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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume II, Wellbeing and the Environment by Elizabeth Burton, Rachel Cooper, Cary L. Cooper

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21

Implications of Low-Carbon Design of Housing for Health and Wellbeing

A U.K. Case Study

Michael Davies, Ian Hamilton, Anna Mavrogianni, Rokia Raslan

University College London, U.K.

Paul Wilkinson

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U.K.

The overwhelming case for low-carbon development to mitigate anthropogenic climate change has been clearly articulated in successive reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most recently in the 2007 Fourth assessment report (Metz, Davidson, Bosch, Dave, & Meyer, 2007; Parry, Canziani, Palutikof, Van Der Linden, & Hanson, 2007; Solomon et al., 2007). The challenge is daunting: a halving of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by midcentury, with much larger reduction of 80–90% in high-income countries.

This chapter focuses on high-income countries. We will use the United Kingdom as a case study and concentrate on housing, given the potential of the built environment for GHG mitigation. Household energy interventions in low-income settings may have greater potential to improve public health than do those in high-income countries, but such interventions in high-income settings have greater potential for GHG reduction per dwelling while still being of significant importance for health.

Achieving GHG targets will have major implications for all sectors of the economy. Improving the energy efficiency of housing is a key focus for action because of its substantial contribution to GHG emissions, and because the opportunities ...

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