UK Green Building Council

UK-GBC's response to the carbon plan

Date released: 
2 Dec 2011
Green policy

Following the missed opportunity in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement to put green growth at the heart of the Government's plan for economic recovery, it is encouraging to see an updated Carbon Plan published today.

However, the plan itself is disappointing in its lack of ambition when it comes to refurbishing our building stock, focusing mostly on the 'low hanging fruit' until the next decade. Some of the key points from the Plan are as follows:

  • Emissions from buildings have fallen by 9% overall since 1990
  • The UK is on track for the first three carbon budgets
  • To meet the fourth carbon budget we need to see between 26 - 75MTCO2e abatement from buildings. This is more than is expected to be delivered through current policy
  • By 2020 all the practicable wall cavity and loft insulation should have been delivered, using Green Deal and ECO, plus 1.5m Solid walls
  • The 2020s will be a 'key transitional decade' where low carbon heat from heating networks will become mainstream and we’ll need to tackle the rest of the harder-to-treat properties at scale
  • To help meet the fourth carbon budget, government will act now to build the supply chain for low carbon heating, cooling, and lighting and appliances to bring the cost of these technologies down
  • Display Energy Certificates (DECs) receive only a brief mention in relation to their existing use in public buildings and in an Annex of the Plan which states that Government will be encouraging voluntary take-up of DECs for commercial buildings – rather than setting out a plan for their mandatory roll-out as promised in previous publications.
  • A heat strategy will be published in the new year.

Paul King commented:

"While we welcome the focus on rolling out low carbon heat, when there's so much we can achieve in terms of creating new jobs, saving energy, reducing fuel poverty and increasing energy security through achieving radical reductions in energy use in buildings sooner rather than later, The Carbon Plan lacks vision and the ambition to stimulate rapid green growth."

You can find the Carbon Plan here.

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