CCC 2020 progress report released-'seize the opportunity'

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) this morning published its progress report on reducing UK emissions. It assesses progress over the last year and gives advice to Government on how to secure a green and resilient recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the CCC?

The Committe on Climate Change or CCC for short is the independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008 who advise the UK and devolved governments on emissions targets and to report to Parliament on progress made.

The CCC suggest five clear investment priorities in the months ahead, and states there are clear economic, social, and environmental benefits from immediate expansion of the following measures:

  1. Low-carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future
  2. Tree planting, peatland restoration, and green infrastructure
  3. Energy networks must be strengthened
  4. Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle, and work remotely
  5. Moving towards a circular economy.

It highlights the lack of policies in certain areas and suggests:

“The delay of COP26 to November 2021 provides a window to address this policy deficit and establish a credible internationally-leading position:

The Buildings and Heat Strategy, due later this year, must take low-carbon heating from a niche market in the UK to the dominant form of new heating installation by the early-2030s. It should be supported by a national effort to improve the energy efficiency of UK buildings along with ensuring their safety and comfort as the climate warms.”

The report has suggestions for all government departments and we have highlighted below, the suggestions put to the Department for Buisness Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as well as the Ministry of Housing, Communicties, & Local Government (MHCLG):

Implement a strong set of [Building] standards that ensure buildings are designed for a changing climate and deliver high levels of energy efficiency and low-carbon heat for new and existing buildings. Including:

  • Commit to a robust definition of the Future Homes Standard which is legislated well ahead of 2025 and ensures no fossil fuels are burnt in new homes.
  • Work with BEIS on the Buildings and Heat Strategy and use standards to set a clear direction for retrofit across the buildings stock.
  • Introduce a new standard or regulation to ensure that overheating risk (in both the current and future climate) is assessed at the design stage of new-build homes or renovations. This should ensure that passive cooling measures are prioritised over active cooling.
  • Ensure that the remit of the new buildings safety regulator covers climate change mitigation and adaptation, and is equipped to monitor and enforce compliance with buildings standards. Work with HM Treasury to ensure that local authorities are properly funded to enforce buildings standards.
  • Close loopholes allowing homes to be built which do not meet the current minimum standards for new dwellings. Make accurate performance testing and reporting widespread, committing developers to the standards they advertise.

Elmhurst's Technical & Operations Director, Stuart Fairlie, welcomes the report from the CCC: “As ever we welcome the CCC report, and we fully support the need to deliver on the Clean Growth Strategy. We must ensure that we get the new Building Regulations in swiftly, setting a firm direction to future standards. It is also important that we fill the gap of addressing our existing building stock. We must build upon the world leading processes and people that we have through the UK to deliver this transition, bringing all the parts together. Over the course of the past few months we have proven as a nation that if we need to do something, we can. We must now ensure that climate resilience is top of the agenda to deliver green and healthy buildings that we all want to live and work in.”

The full progress report is available to view here

Article published: 25/06/2020

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