Green Building Council calls for carbon target

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has called for the establishment of a whole-life carbon target for the infrastructure industry.

The council’s report, Delivering Low Carbon Infrastructure, warns there is currently no specific target in place for the industry to work towards.

According to the report, £500bn is set to be invested in UK infrastructure between 2016 and 2030.

As well as planning significant investment in infrastructure, the British government has also ratified the Paris Agreement, which requires a net zero-carbon economy within the second half of this century.

The Infrastructure Carbon Review in 2013 showed that the infrastructure industry controls 16% of the UK’s total carbon emissions and has influence over a further 37%.

The combined impact figure of 53% is set to grow to 90% by 2050, due to decarbonisation in other sectors.

But the report warns there is no specific target for the infrastructure industry, which organisations and projects can work towards.

And there is no single method used by all the surveyed clients to set their targets.

‘I’m pleased that UK-GBC has been able to provide the industry with a lucid view on carbon target setting in infrastructure,’ said UK-GBC chief executive, Julie Hirigoyen.

‘There is a great deal of support for setting a carbon target, based on climate science, for this part of the built environment, and I hope this report provides the catalyst for achieving this.’

The report notes regulatory drivers could help to accelerate change in the infrastructure sector

Although the report also states there is currently ‘a lack of strong direction from the UK government and regulation to “enforce” carbon reductions’.

‘Industry bodies can play a role in bringing consistency and coherence to the industry,’ the report states. ‘This may give rise to better opportunities for the supply chain to respond to requirements in an innovative fashion.’

Andy Mitchell, Tideway CEO, chair of the ICE Infrastructure Client Group and chair of the Infrastructure Industry Innovation Platform, said carbon is a key concern in infrastructure.

‘Clients across all infrastructure sectors are taking action to reduce emissions, but we must ensure our actions go far enough to tackle the challenge that lies ahead.

‘It is clear that the setting of an industry-wide carbon target for infrastructure, as recommended in this report, is essential. This will ensure we have a clear trajectory to a low-carbon future, in line with climate science.’

Photo by barcar

Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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