EXCLUSIVE: Government’s ‘distractions’ must not deflect UK’s low carbon goal

Government must ensure that short term difficulties and distractions such as the slow take up of the Green Deal, delay of RHI, and the recent renewed emphasis on finite resources like fracking for natural gas, do not deflect the UK from the "ultimate low carbon goal", says the Institute for Sustainability's Terry McGivern.

“This remains a unique environmental, economic and social opportunity and must not be lost amongst short term pressures,” says McGivern.

Speaking to edie about the construction and building sector’s role in achieving the UK’s low carbon target, McGivern says it is “early days” to generalise about such a large and disparate industry, but the low carbon and wider sustainability agenda is starting to drive up building performance standards and client requirements.

In addition, McGivern states that sustainability is encouraging the supply chain to seek better solutions for delivering low carbon retrofit and new build at scale.

Other benefits of the agenda include demanding more effective communication and collaboration between the whole building team for the life of the building; cutting down product and construction waste; requiring formal monitoring and evaluation of new and refurbished buildings, and ultimately guaranteeing their long term performance.

“This potential for step change in a conservative industry is one of the most exciting aspects of sustainability in the built environment sector – and a key focus of our Resource Efficient Buildings work at the Institute – aside from the obviously pivotal role the industry can play in helping to improve UK and international environmental performance,” adds McGivern.

For the full interview read ‘In conversation with the Institute for Sustainability’s Terry McGivern’

Leigh Stringer

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