We welcome references to net zero in the National Infrastructure Strategy, which suggests the climate emergency is finally gaining traction in HMT. In particular, it is encouraging to see projects intended to deliver net zero reflected so prominently in the remit of the new UK Infrastructure Bank.

However, we are disappointed to see that, despite widespread consensus, energy efficiency is not included as a national infrastructure priority, and that the only references to it in the National Infrastructure Strategy involve unlocking private investment. Greater public investment in energy efficiency, beyond the small sums confirmed on social housing and public buildings, will be needed in order to leverage substantial private investment; and this must be accompanied by a longer-term strategy to deliver certainty beyond the Green Homes Grant. The ‘Levelling-up’ Fund should be used to support this, through enabling local authorities to drive further action on energy efficiency at a local level.

Overall, there is clearly more to be done to ensure delivering a green recovery serves as the guiding light for all major investment and planning decisions. We look forward to further action to entrench net zero comprehensively into infrastructure spending and the planning system, notably in the Treasury’s Net Zero Review and other forthcoming strategies.”

John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC

The details of the Spending Review are available here.

The National Infrastructure Strategy is available here.