Carbon Plan fails to deliver ambitious plan for greening the UK's building stock

UK-GBC responds to publication of the Carbon Plan

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 previously.
  • A heat strategy will be published in the New Year.

Paul King, CEO of UK-GBC 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."


About the Carbon PlanThe Carbon Plan, published in December 2011, sets out the Government's plans for achieving the emissions reductions committed to in the first four carbon budgets, on a pathway consistent with meeting the 2050 target. Find out more here: UK-GBC The UK Green Building Council’s mission is to dramatically improve the sustainability of the built environment, by radically transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated. We are a membership organisation, launched in 2007, primarily consisting of businesses from across the industry. Uniquely, we bring together anyone involved in the complex process of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining and operating buildings, along with NGOs, academic institutions and government agencies. Find out more here: 

Date: 01/12/2011