Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security
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Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso

The Handbook on Climate Change and Human Security is a landmark publication which links the complexities of climate change to the wellbeing and resilience of human populations. It is written in an engaging and accessible way but also conveys the state of the art on both climate change research and work into human security, utilizing both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Organized around thematic sections, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert in the field, and discusses the key concepts and evidence base for our current policy choices, and the dilemmas of international policy in the field. The Handbook is unique in containing sophisticated ethical and moral questions as well as new information and data from different geographical regions. It is a timely volume that makes the case for acting wisely now to avert impending crises and global environmental problems.
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Chapter 14: Climate change, human security and the built environment

Karen Bickerstaff and Emma Hinton


In the UK, the consumption of energy within domestic housing accounts for roughly one third of the country’s annual carbon dioxide emissions (DECC, 2011). Homes have been framed by a range of stakeholders, from energy companies to governments and campaigning groups, as an important site for reducing energy use and, more particularly, meeting national climate change goals. Improving the efficiency of existing homes (and commercial buildings) is critical to such efforts. The UK housing stock is renewed at a rate of only about 1 percent a year and, as such, most of the homes we will occupy – up to at least 2050 – already exist (Beddington, 2008: 4299). Here, we also focus on energy used to provide heating and sustain comfort – recognizing that space heating and cooling account for the lion’s share of domestic energy use in most western societies (Shove, 2003: 396), Comfort, and an adequate standard of warmth, is also a critical aspect of human security. A recent report on fuel poverty (Hills, 2012) claims a ‘profoundly disappointing’ 3 million households will be fuel-poor by 2016, despite the introduction of government measures intended to tackle the problem.

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