Government’s construction adviser hits out at carbon reduction plan for lacking concrete actions

The government’s chief construction advisor Paul Morrell has attacked the government’s plan for reducing carbon emissions from homes as “under informed by reality”.

Morrell told a conference of members of the Aldersgate Group, a membership organisation which focuses on delivering a low carbon economy, that the Carbon Plan, published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in December last year, was lacking in concrete actions.

He said: “The Carbon Plan presumes there’s a rapid ramp-up in zero carbon homes from 2016, which will not happen for another two years. It’s all under informed by the reality of the market.”

He added that the plan was not something which industry or government could really take action on and characterised it more as a “plan for a plan” than a plan in itself.

Morrell urged the industry to keep chipping away at government to lead on bringing about changes because he said a breakthrough would eventually come.

The carbon plan sets out “steer a course through the uncertainty” of how all sectors of the UK economy will be decarbonised and emissions cut by 80% by 2050. In construction it reiterates the government’s commitment to the Green Deal and roll-out of increased energy efficiency for the existing stock.

David Adams, director at the Zero Carbon Hub, said: “All building regulations take some time to come into play, so that’s quite normal. The regulations [on zero carbon homes] come in 2016 but there’s always a transition period, planning permissions will still be being worked through until 2019 or 2020.”

He added that assumptions about uptake of the Green Deal were rather optimistic given the success of Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) at giving away insulation.