Responding to the CCC, UKGBC’s Director of Communications, Policy & Places, Simon McWhirter said:

“As a business network, our members are hugely concerned that Government action to decarbonise the UK’s buildings, particularly our homes, and prepare them for climate change is simply not happening fast enough. Tackling the climate and cost of living crises are two sides of the same coin; insulating our homes will reduce energy bills, bolster energy security and help achieve net zero carbon, whilst also delivering hundreds of thousands of quality jobs. The Government needs to urgently fill the gaping holes in policy for industry to speed up, skill up and scale-up.” 

McWhirter continues, “the CCC rightly identifies that energy efficiency in homes is the most significant policy gap in the building sector; with targets but no plan, funding or timeline for the much-needed policies. We’re not going to hit our climate targets without a serious package of long-term structural and financial drivers in this area. UKGBC has been a central voice in the widespread calls for an energy saving stamp duty incentive to encourage homebuyers to upgrade their homes following purchase. The Committee has echoed this, calling on HM Treasury to urgently review its tax strategy to support the net zero transition.” 

“The CCC also stressed the central importance of local authorities to drive progress on home retrofit, and the need for coordination and collaboration. But it also recommended more strategic and longer term funding mechanisms.  UKGBC is already calling for national funding for at least one retrofit officer in each local authority across the country to boost capacity and skills, and speed up delivery; and we have launched a nationwide local authority network to share best practice.” 

Finally, on planning reform McWhirter adds,”The CCC says that comprehensive planning reform is needed to meet the UK’s international and national commitments to net zero – but the Levelling Up Bill, which has planning reform at its centre, currently fails abjectly in this task. That’s why UKGBC is championing amendments to ensure our planning system helps to deliver, not undermine, the UK’s climate and environment commitments.”

The Climate Change Committee’s report can be accessed here.