Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at UKGBC:
“With the COP 26 conference just days away, the Chancellor’s announcements felt like they were from a different planet and a different time. Whilst we welcome changes to business rates to incentivize investment in renewable technologies, new research and development funding, and grants for local authorities, there were no big announcements to fill the clear gap that has emerged around decarbonising existing buildings.
With the Budget and Spending Review coming together, this was evidently the Chancellor’s big opportunity to plug the major gaps in the Government’s Net Zero and Heat and Buildings Strategies, and put the UK on a firm path to net zero over the next few years. By supporting the industry’s plan for a national programme to retrofit our homes, the Government could have delivered substantial progress towards net zero and unlocked a new wave of green jobs to help level up the country. Instead, attention to net zero was tokenistic, repeating old announcements alongside incongruous headlines around carbon-intensive investment in roads, cutting air passenger duty and fuel-duty freezes.
If the Chancellor is serious about building a strong, resilient economy, then turbocharging the green economy should be at the centre of all investment plans and skills initiatives, not merely be an afterthought. Every year that we fail to invest in tackling climate change increases the financial burden on future generations and Governments. With the UK’s green credentials in the spotlight next week, and public concern about climate change at an all-time high, these announcements could not be more disappointing.”
A copy of the Government’s Budget and Spending Review can be accessed here.
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