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100 Unintended consequences of policies to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock

Shrubsole, C; Macmillan, A; Davies, M; May, N; (2014) 100 Unintended consequences of policies to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock. INDOOR AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT , 23 (3) 340 - 352. 10.1177/1420326X14524586. Green open access

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Abstract

As a major sector contributing to the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, housing is an important focus of government policies to mitigate climate change. Current policy promotes the application of a variety of energy efficiency measures to a diverse building stock, which will likely lead to a wide range of unintended consequences. We have undertaken a scoping review identifying more than 100 unin- tended consequences impacting building fabric, population health and the environment, thus high- lighting the urgent need for government and society to reconsider its approach. Many impacts are connected in complex relationships. Some are negative, others possibly co-benefits for other object- ives. While there are likely to be unavoidable trade-offs between different domains affected and the emissions reduction policy, a more integrated approach to decision making could ensure co-benefits are optimised, negative impacts reduced and trade-offs are dealt with explicitly. Integrative methods can capture this complexity and support a dynamic understanding of the effects of policies over time, bringing together different kinds of knowledge in an improved decision-making process. We suggest that participatory systems dynamics with multi/inter-disciplinary stakeholders is likely to offer a useful route forward, supporting cross-sectorial policy optimisation that places reducing housing GHG emis- sions alongside other housing policy goals.

Type: Article
Title: 100 Unintended consequences of policies to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1420326X14524586
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1420326X14524586
Additional information: You may not post the published article (version 3) on any website or in any repository without permission from SAGE.
Keywords: Built environment, Climate change, Complexity, Housing, Policy, Unintended consequences
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1432987
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