MPs call for embodied carbon regulation

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Part Z

The Part Z Authors welcome the release today (26 May) of the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Select Committee report, ‘Building to net zero: costing carbon in construction’. In summary, the report finds that current policy inadequately addresses the need to reduce embodied carbon, develop low-carbon materials, or prioritise reuse and retrofit.

The report states that “Other countries and some UK local authorities are already requiring whole life carbon assessments to be undertaken. This leaves the UK slipping behind comparator countries in Europe in monitoring and controlling the embodied carbon in construction. If the UK continues to drag its feet on embodied carbon, it will not meet net zero or its carbon budgets.”

The report makes several recommendations to resolve these issues. In particular, it states that:“…the single most significant policy the Government could introduce is a mandatory requirement to undertake whole-life carbon assessments for buildings. This requirement should be set within building regulations and the planning system. Following introduction of whole-life carbon assessments, the Government should develop progressively ratcheting carbon targets for buildings, to match the pathway to net zero.”

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