31 October 2011
DECC Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, visited Cambridge to meet with local businesses, organisations and stakeholders to discuss energy saving measures and the skills needed to successfully implement the Green Deal.
During the visit South Cambridgeshire District Council showcased their Green Deal preparatory activities, including their Eco Town Rampton Drift project; an initiative that has assessed and retrofitted local homes with domestic energy saving, energy efficiency and microgeneration technologies.
The Minister went on to meet with staff and students at the SmartLife Low Carbon Training Centre in the area to see how the Centre provides innovation, skills and training to Cambridgeshire 14-19 year olds entering the construction industry, aswell as professionals wishing to retrain and householders undertaking “low-carbon” DIY.
Officially opening the Centre, Greg Barker praised their work in helping to tackle consumer reticence through high quality training and investment in skills.
“We know from research that consumers are wary and confused about taking the plunge into energy efficiency, and want to know that installers have been properly trained…. we’ve been consulting industry, building on what is already there but aiming to drive people from the lowest to the highest possible workmanship - the kind I see here today.”
Whilst at the Low Carbon Training Centre, following on from the Secretary of State’s and Prime Minister’s Consumer Summit earlier in the month, Greg Barker also held a “mini Consumer Summit” with local consumer groups and installers to encourage dissemination of energy and money saving information to their members and customers.
Before leaving Cambridge, the Minister stopped for a whistle-stop tour of the British Antarctic Survey, who work to make climate science more accessible and lead the World in research in to the Polar regions. BAS science and support staff are based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, working together to deliver research that underpins a productive economy and contribute to a sustainable world. As part of the tour BAS staff explained their work on Ice-Core drilling and how it can help measure the changes in concentration of greenhouse gases over 100’s of 1000s of years.