CIOB responds to net zero scaling back

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has responded to the Prime Minister's announcement on the scaling back of the UK's Net Zero plans and targets

Press Office

Last updated: 20th September 2023

Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, Research and Public Affairs at CIOB, said: “Decarbonising homes and the wider built environment is vital to reach net zero so it’s disappointing to hear the Prime Minister scaling back energy efficiency targets and the commitments made in the Government’s own net zero growth plan published only six months ago, which refers to minimising reliance on fossil fuels.

"The Office for Budget Responsibility has previously concluded that a late and abrupt transition to net zero would cost more. It has also noted that 'continued dependence on gas could be as expensive fiscally as completing the transition to net zero.'
“Energy consumption in buildings accounts for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions so to deprioritise this issue is baffling when the government should instead be finding ways to support homeowners to retrofit their properties and improve their energy efficiency for the lowest possible cost.

“The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has had very low take up and in our view, increasing the grant available to homeowners will make little difference, as the remaining cost will still be unaffordable for many households amidst a cost of living crisis.

“If government remains committed to reaching net zero by 2050, as they say they are, then they must set out how they plan to achieve this without reducing the reliance on carbon-based fuels to heat homes on the scale and at the pace required.”

CIOB has long campaigned for a national retrofit strategy alongside others in the built environment sector.