Letter: Budget takes tentative green steps

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leader (3 July) on the Budget asserts that "being green and political at the same time is a smart trick that no one has quite yet pulled off". But does not the proposed pounds 900m for new and refurbished council houses and the pounds 1.3bn on school building repairs offer just such a chance?

Amory Lovins, guiding light of the Rocky Mountain Institute, has shown how truly "green" buildings can cost less than normal constructions. At least one is in Britain. Not only are fuel and running costs dramatically cut but such buildings also provide a stimulating, nourishing environment with natural flows of light and air.

Gordon Brown wants "bright modern classrooms". As well as offering a wonderful environment for children at no extra cost, "green" buildings would stimulate and educate architects, designers and the construction industry to be at the cutting edge of the materials and technologies needed for the next century.

Left to the markets, nothing will happen. Government, with vision, and exercising leadership, however, can create a fast track by setting new standards. It wants to do just this with pupil's achievement. Why not do it also with their environment.

BRUCE TOFIELD

London N21

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