DESPITE the fact that our winters are not as cold as those in Sweden, and our energy costs for heating are cheaper the proportion of British folk who die in winter is almost twice the number in Sweden.

The simple reason seems to be that Swedish houses are much more energy efficient so fewer folk suffer from the cold, and many more of them can afford to pay their energy bills even though the basic rate is higher than ours. UK homes lose three times as much heat as those in Sweden.

Perhaps the Scandinavian countries were more fortunate than us as their much colder winters made it very necessary for them to do something about it whereas our milder climate meant that the builders could get away with building techniques and materials that didn’t stop heat leaking out of our houses as though we had left the doors and windows wide open.

However there’s now another imperative for reducing the amount of energy we use to heat our houses, apart from keeping us alive and with a little more money in the bank. Using less energy means that we are individually reducing the amount of CO2 we are responsible for and that must be the prime motivator for all of us if our grandchildren are to enjoy the planet as we have done.

It follows from the above that Sweden is doing better than us at reducing CO2 emissions with only half the UK figure per person, at just over 4 tonnes annually, and they aim to reduce the figure to zero by 2045.

Additionally the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, now Chinese owned, aims to make all its models electric in some form by 2021 and that will help Sweden meet the 2045 target of eliminating CO2 emissions from their life style almost completely.