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The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) has said towns need a radical redesign to tackle climate change.
The government’s advisor on design warned eco initiatives, such as energy saving light bulbs and small scale microgeneration, will not address the wider consequences of global warming and energy shortages.
"The big issue is a lack of willingness by both the public and private sectors to take risks," said Matt Bell, director of campaigns and education, Guardian Unlimited has reported.
"We need a radical redesign of our built environment to tackle climate change."
He criticised the reliance on green gadgets and said the current approach to sustainability was "painfully slow".
The government-funded, carbon trust, works with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.
It has claimed business need not make major alterations to reduce its carbon footprint.
"The right combination of small changes, many costing nothing, can reduce your energy bill by thousands of pounds," it claimed.