With Mark Prisk co-chairing new Green Construction Board there are high hopes for a cross-industry low-carbon action plan
It would be easy to pick holes in the Government’s response to the IGT - to highlight unanswered questions, to cross-check the 65 recommendations against the commitments that have been made, but to do so would be to miss the point.
This is a different government to the one that commissioned the IGT. One that has focused more on decentralisation - localism, and deregulation, than grand plans and targets.
Which makes it all the more encouraging that construction minister Mark Prisk has committed to co-chair a new government/industry Green Construction Board to oversee implementation of a green and low-carbon action plan for the sector, that takes its lead from the national Carbon Plan - what he describes as “the most important document”, launched in March and to be updated in November.
The minister recognises the value of the unprecedented degree of cooperation and co-creation the Zero Carbon Hub has brought government and industry around new homes. He recognises the extraordinary achievements of the industry in delivering the colossal - and most sustainable - Olympics infrastructure in just seven years.
Critically he acknowledges that government must play its part to create the enabling conditions, and provide the clarity, transparency and consistency of policy direction for industry to invest, innovate and deliver.
It is the industry’s future at stake here, and it should have a plan. Government cannot renege on its responsibility to facilitate and support transformation - because all of our futures are at stake too.
The process unveiled today will not, of itself, lead to rapid or radical enough change to satisfy some of us. That’s why the UK-GBC is cited in the report as the first key indusrry action, for our project to develop a new kind of enterprise, to deliver a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from the BE in a decade. There is now an appetite from some of our industry’s leaders to think the unthinkable. I believe these are the people and companies that will have the brightest futures of all.