Following the Prime Minister’s speech on 20 September on climate policies, the Construction Products Association has welcomed that the ambition of Net Zero by 2050 has not changed; indeed, most policies remain unchanged.  The CPA is urging the Government to continue to incentivise energy efficiency measures in the existing housing stock and in new homes as this will reduce household energy bills, keep people warmer, make the country more energy secure, provide jobs across the country, and cut carbon emissions.

The Prime Minister’s view is that the debate on the actions needed to deliver the decarbonisation targets must be pragmatic and realistic, and based on a sound understanding of the technical challenges, economic costs, and capacity to deliver.  Too often to raise such issues is to be dismissed as lacking vision.

Over the years, there have been many unrealistic targets announced based on aspiration rather than practicality, without the necessary support across all areas to reach the targets and what the full costs would be and to whom.  Such mistakes have impacted UK construction as well, and therefore needs to be much greater vetting, transparency and engagement with industry and with the public of the steps required to deliver the ambitions.

With all this in mind, the CPA supports calls from across the wider UK manufacturing industry for the development of a new Industrial Strategy that is both technically and economically competent, and knowledgeable of the capacity needed.  This will help provide government and businesses with the long-term direction and certainty required – including around decarbonisation targets – to avoid altering policies and to instead consistently drive investment, innovation and solutions.

This consistency of approach with regards to industrial policy is desperately lacking from the UK government and is essential to helping drive growth for the UK and ensuring the country keeps on track to meet its Net Zero commitments. It will also help secure UK manufacturing’s international competitiveness as the race for the green jobs and technology of the future ramps up.