Construction leaders urge Osborne to see business case for cutting emissions

More than 50 business leaders from the construction industry have written an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne, highlighting the 'major economic opportunity' offered by cutting emissions from the built environment.

The letter, published in Monday’s Daily Telegraph, says there is a “remarkable degree of consensus” around the business case for tackling emissions.

It stated: “Energy used in the construction and operation of homes and buildings accounts for over a third of the UK’s total emissions.

“Yet our sector offers cost-effective carbon reductions which are not only compatible with ongoing economic recovery and deficit reduction, but present a major opportunity for economic growth.”

The main focus for improvement shoud be energy efficiency, the group says, which would create thousands of jobs for small businesses, strengthen UK international competitiveness and provide a more cost effective way of meeting energy demand than building new capacity.

The letter went on to welcom the Conservative commitment to the Climate Change Act, but called for sector-specific policies, such as new funding to get all UK houses up to EPC band C.

Business sense

Julie Hirigoyen, the chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, which co-ordinated the letter, said: “Business leaders already recognise the importance of bold energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets – not simply because they’re the right thing to do, but because they generate real commercial value for their businesses.

“The new Government has a golden opportunity to put cost effective carbon reductions from buildings at the heart of its economic plan.

“Ambitious, long-term policies would drive major economic growth and job creation, reduce energy bills for homes and businesses, and strengthen the UK’s energy security. This is a win-win-win for people, the environment and the economy.”

Full text of the construction industry’s open letter to George Osborne

Brad Allen

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