What does the Energy White Paper mean for Buildings?
The Government released their long anticipated ‘Energy White Paper’ in December 2020 which outlines their plans for achieving Net Zero by 2050.
Buildings account for 87Mt (19%) of the total 451MtCO2e of UK emissions. Of this 87Mt, 68Mt comes from Residential, 12Mt from Commercial and the remaining 8Mt from the Public sector.
Emissions from buildings have fallen across the UK by 18Mt (17%) over last 30 years – but a further reduction 5 times greater than this will be required to successfully achieve Net Zero by 2050.
White Paper Commitments
The Energy White Paper outlines 14 commitments from Government aimed at reducing the carbon emissions from buildings.
From the Energy White Paper, it is clear that the Government’s two main focuses for reducing the carbon footprint of buildings are:
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings by encouraging cost effective retrofits and the upgrading of heating systems
Transitioning energy consumption away from fossil fuels with increased electrification, bio-methane gas use and the development of clean hydrogen
The plans outlined in the Energy White Paper are encouragingly ambitious and mirror the findings outlined in ‘The 6th Carbon Budget’ published by the Climate Change Committee.
It is clear that the Government realise the vital role buildings will play in successfully achieving UK Net Zero targets.
Unsurprisingly, sustainability will have a large influence on this sector moving forward.
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