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Goals to decarbonize British construction are questioned

Industry groups warn that the ambitious British government’s goal of decarbonizing construction is unlikely to be met due to labor and funding shortages.

About one-third of the UK’s total energy is used in the home, which accounts for about one-fifth of total carbon dioxide emissions. Construction Leadership Council, It is co-chaired by the government and industry.

But more is expected despite a series of government announcements aimed at improving housing. United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference“There are serious and important questions about who does the job and who bears the cost,” said Noble Francis, director of economics at the Construction Products Association.

There are 28 million homes in the UK, most of which need to be improved for the government to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 and reach its goal of achieving net zero by 2050. ..

About three-quarters of UK housing stock is more than 40 years old, according to the Department of Housing, Community and Level Up, which requires refurbishment of existing homes and the construction of new, energy-efficient homes. is.

CLC estimates that this will cost £ 525 billion by 2040, which includes £ 168 billion in government investment, or £ 18,750 per household.

Nearly 40% of UK homes are above the standards required for net zero, according to the business unit, and this number continues to rise © Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Even more important than cost is who will work and where to source the product because the key materials are already in short supply. Sector skills..

A recent quarterly survey of homebuilders’ federations reports that nearly 40% of companies consider labor. availability It will be a severe constraint compared to just 20% in December 2020.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy disagrees with the numbers, noting that the Climate Change Commission, an independent statutory body that advises the government, estimates that improving housing will cost about £ 250 billion. I did.

“It’s completely wrong to say that all UK homes need to be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures,” BEIS said. “In fact, nearly 40% of UK homes are above the standards required for net zero, and this number continues to rise,” he added.

The government has already set several goals aimed at decarbonizing the built environment, including the Prime Minister. 10-point plan for the November 2020 Green Industrial Revolution.. This includes a proposal to install 600,000 heat pumps in the home each year instead of boilers by 2028.

Brian Berry, Chief of the Master Builders Federation and Chair of CLC’s Refurbishment Workstream, said: Technology that doesn’t deal with leaky walls, floors and roofs misses the mark we all aim for. “

Significantly delayed heat and building strategies will also be announced later this month, but more government announcements of decarbonization are expected ahead of COP26 hosted by the government in Glasgow.

Build UK CEO Suzannah Nichol, who represents the contractor, called on the government to “set a more realistic annual goal that can be achieved, stop talking about it, and achieve it.” ..

Previous attempts by the government to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes have failed.

In 2011, the Conservative Liberal Democratic Party Coalition promised refurbishment 14 million homes by 2020 Equipped with insulation, new boilers and double glazing, it is described as “the largest and most ambitious home renovation program we have seen since World War II.”

Before being canceled in 2015, only 14,000 households decided to use the subsidy system, according to the Parliamentary spending monitoring agency, the Public Accounting Commission.

Most recently, in July 2020, the government announced the Green Homes Grant with the ambition to renovate 600,000 homes. This was canceled in March because it failed to reach the target of 10%.

Goals to decarbonize British construction are questioned

Source link Goals to decarbonize British construction are questioned

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