Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at UKGBC said:

“Just days ago, the Chancellor billed today’s Budget as one which would ‘be about reaching net zero and protecting our environment’. Clearly that did not ‘get done’. While Coronavirus is rightly at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, the transition to net zero is also incredibly urgent, with this upcoming decade crucial to achieving it. Yet Government plans remain incredibly light on detail – especially with regards to buildings, energy efficiency and heat – all of which are crucial planks of a net zero economy. Instead the can has been kicked down the road again, with the promise of ‘more detail’ in the Treasury’s Net Zero Review due to be published ahead of COP26 in November.”

“Some welcome measures in today’s Budget include funding to improve climate resilience and biodiversity, including through a £200m place-based resilience programme, and, buried within the Budget documents, the extension of the Climate Change Agreement scheme, which incentivises energy intensive businesses to improve their energy efficiency.

“Unfortunately, notably absent from the budget documents are the Government’s three biggest manifesto promises on energy efficiency: The social housing decarbonisation fund, Home Upgrade Grants and the Public Sector Decarbonisation scheme.

“There was plenty of talk about homes in today’s speech – but no promise that they will help achieve net zero or be affordable to run. Hopefully tomorrow’s planning announcement will bring with it some welcome news for those in the built environment industry looking to get net zero done.”

The Government’s Budget documents are available here.