Brighid Carey explains,

Why the Call to Action matters and why you should sign up...

As the UK is hit by huge energy price rises and the cost of living crisis, alongside growing mainstream awareness of the impacts of climate change, we see how planning for a better insulated net zero future is more important than ever.

Action on Empty Homes' recent phase of work on NetrZero began with two successful events during the 2021 Climate Action Week and the COP26 Summit, and this work continued during the COP27 Climate Summit in November 2022, amidst a significantly more serious national and international situation.

We call for action to address the climate and housing emergencies and help tackle fuel poverty. We also call for a Retrofit Revolution -  including full retrofit of empty homes as they are renovated to create genuinely low cost, low carbon homes.

The last year of war in Ukraine and an intense cost of living crisis in the UK, literally fuelled by rising energy costs, has shown us that the 'Retrofit Challenge' of our aging, poorly insulated and energy inefficient housing is one of the most critical our country faces

For the latest on our retrofit challenge work and our feasability project on community-led housing retrofit click here

Campaigning during COP27

COP27 was held in Egypt during November 2022. Our focused was on maintaining the momentum for change. The AEH Retrofit Call to Action has been developed in partnership with the Architects’ Climate Action Network (ACAN) and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership.

In it, we call on national governments to:

  1. Support owners of empty homes to bring them back into use as zero emission social housing.
  2. Give local authorities more powers and resources to bring long term empty homes back to use as zero emission social housing.
  3. Incentivise social housing providers and community housing schemes to take on and retrofit long term empty homes as part of targets to deliver social and affordable housing.
  4. Invest in local and sub-regional supply chain development and green skills to rebuild local and subregional economies and enhance local community life.

Join our campaign by signing the Retrofit Call to Action here:

COP26 and fossil fuels – Commitment to Change

At COP26, coal power generation was recognised to be the single biggest cause of global temperature increases. A group of 46 countries, including the UK, agreed it was imperative to urgently scale-up the deployment of clean power to accelerate the energy transition. These countries signed a commitment to phase out domestic coal by 2030, and a further 29 countries, including the UK, committed to end new direct international public support for unabated[1] fossil fuels by the end of 2022 and redirect this investment to clean energy.

In 2023 we still have yet to see meaningful investment in domestic insulation, whole house retrofitting or sustainable green energy generation to warm or cool existing homes and help keep fuel costs down. Nor has there been the necessary focus on the development of the green skills in construction and home retrofit essential to deliver real change.

You can still watch our events from 2021

The COP26 Retrofitting Empty Homes event took place online on Thursday 11th November 2021 and featured input from the Architects Climate Action Network, The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership and The Welsh School of Architecture:

Watch the recording on YouTube channel    

The Climate Fringe Week event was also live-streamed and a recording is available on Youtube

[1] Unabated’ coal power generation is described by the G7 and the International Energy Agency (IEA) as referring to the use of coal power that is not mitigated with technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, such as Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).

Booking for this event has now closed.