Queen's speech confirms a climate change bill will be introduced along with changes to the planning system and a bill to tackle road congestion

The Queen’s speech today confirmed that the government will introduce a climate change bill during Tony Blair’s last year in office.

In a speech dominated by security, immigration and the environment, the Queen confirmed that the government would introduce a climate change bill “consistent with the need to secure the country’s long-term energy supply”.

The RICS has urged the government to use its climate change bill to offer industry fiscal incentives to improve its energy performance.

Reacting to the confirmation of a climate change bill in the Queen’s speech earlier today, Brian Berry, RICS head of policy said: “It will take political courage to introduce tough statutory measures to encourage industry and the consumer to make the necessary changes to reduce carbon emissions.

“But the government would be well advised to offer industry fiscal incentives to encourage both the commercial and residential sectors to upgrade energy efficiency provision."

Berry also called on the government to ensure it tackled efficiency in existing buildings as a matter of priority.

Meanwhile, both the RICS and Countryside campaigners CPRE have urged caution on the proposed reform of the planning system, another measure included in today’s speech.

The RICS called for adjustments to the existing system rather than a “root and branch review”, while CPRE urged that any reforms strengthened, rather than undermined, the environmental role of the planning system.

Other measures that will affect the construction industry include:

  • Bill to reform the further education system to better deal with the skills needs of the economy
  • A draft bill to tackle road congestion
  • Legislation to allow trials without a jury in serious fraud cases.
In addition to the measures unveiled, two bills affecting the construction industry have been carried over from the parliamentary last session, covering corporate manslaughter and Crossrail.