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  • International Workplace
  • 4 April 2018
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Business leaders call for robust new energy performance standards for the UK’s buildings

Business leaders have written to secretaries of state, calling on them to act swiftly to introduce robust new energy performance standards for the UK’s buildings.

Headed by the UK Green Building Council (UK GBC) and signed by numerous other business leaders, including Marks & Spencer, Heathrow Airport and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the letter highlights this as an urgent issue, given that the Paris Climate Agreement commits participating countries to limiting global warming to well below 2oC this century; the UK’s buildings contribute 30% of our greenhouse gas emissions and emissions are on the rise again after years of good progress.  

The letter assures that the construction and property sector stands ready to deliver on bold targets for energy performance and low carbon solutions. “But we urgently need both medium- and long-term policy certainty to drive significant investment and catalyse innovation,” it reads. “This would work hand in hand with the industry’s drive to boost productivity and skills through the new Construction Sector Deal.”  

The letter’s authors state that they agree with the government’s official advisory body – the Committee on Climate Change – that new build standards should be tightened without further delay, and call on government to signal as soon as possible that by 2030 all new buildings should be ‘net zero carbon’, which means reducing all energy use as far as technically possible, with remaining demand met through renewables. 

“As a first step the government must also swiftly confirm that from 2020 energy performance standards will be significantly improved to put us on the right path towards the 2030 goal,”

Addressed to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, and Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the letter concludes by urging government to deliver the policy certainty we need to enable us to play our full part in driving the UK economy forward as we look to a post-Brexit future:

“A construction industry equipped to meet the future can play a pivotal role in delivering the clean growth that lies at the heart of the government’s new Industrial Strategy.”    

The full letter is available to view here.