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Construction on track to reach its green targets

A report by the Climate Change Committee has set out a host of ambitious carbon reduction targets and points to where resources should be focused. In a bid to boost Britain’s sustainability credentials ahead of the COP26 conference in November 2021, Boris Johnson recently announced that the UK was now targeting a 78% cut in carbon emissions by 2035. This establishes an interim target to the UK’s journey to net zero carbon by 2050.

It is a figure just 2% short of the UK’s original target of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050, which was revised to 100% in 2019. The new 78% target includes the UK’s share of emissions from shipping and aviation – a legally binding target which is said to be the most ambitious in the world.

On 10th May 2021, speaking at today’s virtual Business 7 Summit (or ‘B7’), which welcomes around 60 CEO’s from leading UK and global companies across the G7 countries and feeds into the G7 Summit programme, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, recognised the construction industry’s contribution to achieving Net Zero.

In remarks to the concluding session, which aimed to identify how government and business can work together to address global challenges in climate, digital and health, the Secretary of State set out his priorities and views on business leadership, highlighting that over 58 UK construction businesses have already signed-up to Race to Zero, including firms such as Lendlease and Multiplex.

The Secretary of State also highlighted the UK’s leading consultancy businesses working in the built environment, who have today collectively committed to offering ambitious design options and advice that are fully compatible with Net Zero outcomes to their clients. This means that the expert advice received by financiers, asset owners and operators will now be encouraging, and actively driving towards, ambitious Net Zero choices.

These firms are respected around the globe for their expertise and include AECOM, Arcadis, Arup, Atkins, Buro Happold, Jacobs, Mott MacDonald, Mace, Turner & Townsend and WSP.

Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK’s construction and engineering industries are leading the world in the drive to cut emissions, and I am thrilled to see so many businesses from all over the globe share this ambition.

“As we build back better, the commitments made at this summit will support the construction industry to make this essential low carbon transition and I look forward to working closely with the sector and the Construction Leadership Council on this journey.”

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