EXISTING homes in Wales must be made more energy efficient while all new homes must be built to be as sustainable as possible if climate change targets are to be achieved, a report has said.

The study by the Welsh Assembly's Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee found, with the current rate of housebuilding, the possibility of achieving requirements to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 is "some way off".

The committee has called on the Welsh Government to develop a new 10-year strategy setting out how all new homes will be built to be as energy efficient as possible. Meanwhile, existing homes should be retro-fitted to be as green as possible, the group has also said.

As part of this, homebuyers should be offered financial incentives to buy more energy efficient homes or installing new green measures, while funding should be targeted at the most environmentally friendly building firms, the study recommended.

Chairman Mike Hedges said: “There are many reasons why we should improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock.

"The most pressing is the need to deliver on legal obligations to eliminate fuel poverty and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

“The Welsh Government is required to reduce emissions by 40 per cent by 2018 and by 80 per cent by 2050.

“Challenging targets need challenging solutions. Reducing the amount of energy we use in our homes will substantially accelerate progress towards these goals.

“Achieving the targets will require a considerable ramping up of ambition and must span the whole of Wales’ policy levers.

“We are calling on the Welsh Government to bring forward a 10-year low-carbon housing strategy, including milestones and targets to kick start housing development now and for the future.”

The report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.