There's been plenty of media attention on the UK's carbon footprint recently, and this momentum appears to have blown a strong wind into the sails of the Committee on Climate Change.
There’s been plenty of media attention on the UK’s carbon footprint recently, and this momentum appears to have blown a strong wind into the sails of the Committee on Climate Change. This Government funded independent group has already won brownie points for showing how the UK can realistically achieve net zero carbon by 2050, and then convincing Theresa May to adopt it.
Their latest report confirms what many have been saying for a while… you can’t just announce that we’re going to reduce carbon emissions; you also need to follow this with action, law changes and incentives. In the construction industry we have seen plenty of headlines proclaiming how homes will be greener, but in reality the targets in building regulations have been on pause since 2013, and in that time we’ve seen both the Feed in Tariff (which encourages solar panels) and Code for Sustainable Homes (which pushes for greener homes) scrapped without replacement.
The CCC’s report suggests this is not unique to construction. Transport, industry and farming are all seeing similar trends of all-talk-little-action.
In construction there are four priorities:
The current methodology isn’t perfect. It uses plenty of assumptions in the background, doesn’t apply regional differences in temperature, wind or daylight hours, and doesn’t consider energy used by cooking, TVs or showers, however there will be new methodology to go with the new Part L, so this gives us the opportunity to review and reduce the performance gap moving forward.
We are certainly going to see a big push towards energy efficient buildings and low carbon heating over the coming decade. Unfortunately for the construction industry, the longer the Government delays any changes, the bigger the steps we’ll need to make to get us on track for the new 2050 net-zero carbon target.