NFB Warns Government Over Zero-Carbon Target for 2050

THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF BUILDERS has warned the Government it must act now if it wants to meet targets to reach net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050.

The trade body has warned that with construction having a direct influence of 47 per cent of the UK’s emissions, and 61 per cent of waste, the industry has a significant role to play.

A report, titled ‘Transforming Construction for a Low Carbon Future’ has been launched by the trade body’s Major Contractors Group, warning that the construction industry must be transformed within a generation.

And while the report warns against the risks of not acting now, it also spells out the huge opportunities that exist across the sector.

It looks at funding streams, changes in skills, procurement and design, and approaches to reducing carbon emissions and waste, with contributions from the CBI, the CITB, Constructing Excellence, the Institution of Civil Engineers, Laing O’Rourke and Nottingham City Council among others.

NFB Chairman, Nick Sangwin, said, “This report is not a document to sit on shelves gathering dust, it is designed to galvanise the sector into action, to see the opportunities and to lead the way towards zero carbon by 2050. It is critical that those within the construction sector are stepping forward and implementing a real step-change in the way they do business.”

Zero Carbon 2050

Mark Wakeford, Chair of the Major Contractors Group, said, “The year 2050 might seem a long time away but it’s really not much time to radically change our industry. We must start now and the Government, in whatever guise they return, must lead the way and make this a firm priority post-election. Anyone still operating the same way as they are today in 20 years’ time will be lucky to still be in business.

“There are no excuses: Government, contractors, the supply chain, manufacturers, designers and the trades must all embrace the challenge now, as highlighted in our recommendations.

“To make this happen, domestic housing requires a Government spend of £15bn a year, industrial and commercial property and infrastructure requires up to £10bn a year, flood defences £1bn a year, and the power sector £20bn a year.

“But it’s about more than just money: the transformation required in the construction industry is multi-faceted and it is critical that Industry and Government take a joined-up approach to bring together developments in skills, procurement, design, products and materials, transport and more.

“The report we are launching today is a call-to-arms, we’re telling the Government and the industry alike to wake up to the reality of zero carbon and act now.”

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