UK Climate Change Committee – Sixth Carbon Budget

December 11th, 2020

UK Climate Change Committee – Sixth Carbon Budget

Last week the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) published their recommended Sixth Carbon Budget as part of the UK’s path to net zero carbon by 2050.

The advice is a reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions of 78% by 2035 relative to 1990. This would achieve well over half of the emissions reduction required by 2050 in the next 15 years. The analysis in the report shows this is feasible, provided effective policies are introduced across the economy without delay. The budget requires a major investment programme, worth around £50 billion each year from 2030 to 2050. However, the CCC estimates net costs of meeting the budget to be low, equivalent to less than 1% of GDP.

The report covers every section of the economy including buildings. Specific actions for the buildings sector include:

  • Reducing demand for carbon-intensive activities such as increased insulation and low-energy appliances.
  • Take-up of low-carbon solutions. The CCC expects this will largely be in the form of switching from fossil fuels boilers to electric solutions such as heat pumps. For example it recommends that the sales of residential gas boilers should be phased by 2033.
  • Expansion of low-carbon energy supplies. There are two key areas for this: low-carbon electricity, largely from off-shore wind, and low-carbon hydrogen which can used in sectors less suited to electrification.

To make all buildings energy efficient and ultimately low-carbon a clear timetable for policy standards is needed along with industry changes to rapidly scale up supply chains for heat pumps and to develop the option of hydrogen for heat.

CBG applies these principles with a ‘fabric first’ approach to reduce energy demands by focusing on passive design. Then it is followed by the design of efficient buildings services.

We keep up to date with all building regulations and policy guidance and can provide CPD presentations to assist with the transition to low and zero-carbon buildings. Please do contact us to schedule a CPD for your team.

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