Despite one noticeable no show at the climate change election debate on 28 November, all of the major political parties have, at least, accepted the challenging target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and promoted this as part of their campaigning.
Some have gone further with even tighter and more radical deadlines.
Whatever the result of the UK General Election on 12 December, it is clear that meeting the challenge of climate change is going to present a significant strategic issue for Housing Associations.
The Committee on Climate Change advise the Government, whoever that might be on the 13th, on emission targets. Their report from February 2019 entitled ‘UK Housing: Fit for the Future’ set out recommendations for action including:
- Retrofitting existing homes to ensure they are low carbon and resilient to changing climate,
- Building new homes to be low carbon, energy and water efficient and climate resilient.
- Delivering a step change in construction skills, housing design and installation of new technologies.
Whilst many Housing Associations have already adopted low carbon targets, the legislative and policy changes from the UK Government and devolved administrations to implement these challenging carbon reduction targets are likely to come “thick and fast” during 2020. These changes will be hitting just at the time many Associations are coming to terms with the sheer scale of the task ahead of them in respect to building safety issues. Either one of these challenges would have significant implications not only for Associations’ asset management, development and procurement strategies but for their value for money requirements. Combined, we can safely say we are in for interesting times.
For more information about how Devonshires can you support you to deliver low carbon commitments in construction, procurement and planning projects please contact Hannah Langford or Neil Toner, Partners in our Real Estate & Projects team.