UK Green Building Council says construction must take larger share of burden if UK is to meet its carbon targets

The UK must cut carbon emissions from the built environment by 50% in the next 10 years if it is to meet targets, according to the UK Green Building Council and leading firms in the sector.

Speaking at the Making Sustainable Development Happen conference today, Paul King chief executive of UKGBC, urged the industry to recognise the role it can play in delivering on UK targets for carbon cuts.

Although the Climate Change Act sets out a target of 34% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, many scientists and pressure groups are now calling for 40% reductions. For that to be achieved, the built environment would have to take on a larger share of the burden.

“We drastically need to cut emissions from all sectors, but the built environment offers the best cost-effective opportunity to do that. We have the technology and the know-how in the industry, but we haven’t managed to mainstream these yet.

"I do not underestimate the size of the challenge, but I believe that by working together with government, industry and building occupiers, we can deliver cuts of 50% by 2020,” says King.

Taking on this challenge would create thousands of new jobs, boosting the UK economy and supporting our recovery he added.

Daniel Labbad, chief executive officer – Europe for LendLease, said: “To achieve this we need to drive innovation in the sector and increase industry collaboration on measurement and benchmarking in order to help drive performance.”