Agreement commits government to helping alleviate climate change

Industry leaders have welcomed the government’s formal ratification of the Paris climate agreement, the first comprehensive global agreement to tackle climate change.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson signed the document last Thursday.

The main aim of the Paris agreement is to step up the global response to climate change to keep global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees celcius higher than pre-industrial levels, and ideally just 1.5 degrees warmer.

Writing for Building, head of research and development at engineering consultant Hilson Moran, Dan Jestico, said the agreement delivers a strong level of policy certainty for the UK property industry and ensures recently properties built are future proofed can tolerate future climate changes.

He added that the standards set in the agreement are also used to advise foreign clients and investors and enhance the quality of projects overseas.

Julie Hirigoyen, UKGBC chief executive, said the UK’s decision to ratify the agreement has confirmed the government’s commitment to tackling climate change.

She added: “Buildings currently account for almost one third of global carbon emissions and have been identified as one of the more cost-effective carbon abatement opportunities. It is now vital for the industry to show strong leadership and innovation in achieving a 1.5°C world.

“The UK Government must support these efforts through a decisive, ambitious and long-term policy framework. The upcoming Industrial Strategy and Emissions Reduction Plan are key opportunities for Government to give the industry the clarity and certainty it needs to take action.”