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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to reveal a £3bn package of green investment to “decarbonise” public buildings and cut emissions from poorly insulated homes, in a bid to kickstart Britain’s recovery from the coronavirus lockdown.
It will involve improving insulation in public buildings
such as schools and hospitals and retro-fitting low-carbon heating technology
in social housing.
The Chancellor is expected to make the announcement during
his summer statement on the economy on Wednesday.
The extra money for “decarbonising” houses, which also
includes vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements, aims to create
thousands of new jobs while helping the UK to meet its 2050 target of achieving
zero carbon emissions.
Reacting to the news, Mathew Riley, managing director of consultant Ramboll UK, said: “Retrofitting existing building stock to become more energy efficient is undoubtedly a much-needed step towards achieving the net zero carbon target of 2050, but more needs to be done. Carbon neutrality needs to be the main consideration for all infrastructure projects going forwards – not just for public and social buildings. If a project cannot prove that it is meeting low carbon criteria, it simply should not be given planning approval.
“The construction sector already has the talent and thinking
to innovate solutions, but it needs the drive and commitment of clear
government policy to turn this into definitive action.”