Key features of the Queen’s Speech include:

  • That the Government will invest in new green industries to create jobs, while protecting the environment, and that the UK is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will continue to lead the way internationally by hosting the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.
  • Plans to introduce new laws to modernise the planning system, creating a simpler, faster and more modern system which intends to help deliver vital infrastructure whilst helping to protect and enhance the environment.
  • Confirmation that the Environment Bill will return and include legally-binding targets which restore nature and biodiversity, tackle air pollution, as well as establish an independent Office for Environmental Protection.
  • A new Procurement Bill which will reform the UK’s public procurement regime, making it quicker, simpler and better able to meet the country’s needs while remaining compliant with the UK’s international obligations.
  • A new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which intends to give everyone the chance to acquire new expertise, at any stage of their lives, so that they have the skills employers need.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at UKGBC said:

“A key test of the Government’s commitment to a green recovery will be whether the new Planning Bill really delivers the better designed and environmentally friendly communities that the Queen’s Speech promises.

“Any changes under the new planning system must support the delivery of net zero places and nature’s recovery, and not simply remove perceived red tape to speed up the delivery of development.

“UKGBC welcomes confirmation that the Environment Bill will return and bring forward new legally binding targets on the environment, something UKGBC has long called for. However, the delivery of these overarching goals must be supported by binding interim targets to ensure sufficient action is taken early and consistently.

“Plans to modernise public procurement processes to better incorporate social value into decision-making are also welcome. Government purchasing power has huge potential to unlock benefits above and beyond the work being procured – but this can only be secured with the right framework in place. Missing from today’s speech however are plans to plug the growing skills gap needed for delivering a net zero economy. Although the Government’s proposed Lifetime Skills Guarantee sounds promising, it has to be clearly aligned with leveling up the workforce within those industries which can support our green transition.”

Further details of the proposals laid out in today’s Queen’s Speech can be accessed here.