Emissions reduction in the built environment sector is imperative to keep the net zero dream alive.
That’s according to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which is urging the government to introduce mandates for the steel and cement industries to track and reduce the amount of carbon being released from operations.
Built environment is currently responsible for 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and MPs are pushing for a restructuring of regulations and policy to put emissions calculations at the heart of future construction.
The report states that the UK is behind the Netherlands and France in their whole-life carbon assessments of buildings and this needs to change quickly.
It is calling on the government to develop carbon targets for buildings that align with net zero goals and set out a clear timeframe for when emissions should be reduced.
Retrofitting and reusing buildings should also be the priority for future construction over new build, with the EAC recommending low carbon building materials when this is not possible.
The report also claims the UK is suffering from a skills gap in retrofitting and energy efficiency – and this must be addressed for net zero goals to stay achievable.
Philip Dunne MP, EAC Chairman, said: “As in many other areas in the drive to net zero, the UK must have the green skills to make its low carbon future a reality.
“Before the summer recess in July, I urge the government to publish a retrofit strategy and upskilling programme that can ensure the UK economy will have the green jobs necessary to deliver a low carbon built environment.”
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