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New Net Zero Leadership from the United Kingdom

Since the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment was launched less than six weeks ago with 38 founding signatories, it has inspired a wave of action from business, governments and NGOs that are supporting the urgent action needed to achieve mass market transformation.

Today, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) announced their Advancing Net Zero programme, to advance awareness, industry action and policy engagement, and lead the transition to a net zero carbon built environment in the UK. The work will involve establishing an industry task group that will develop a definition for net zero carbon buildings in the UK market.

As a participant of the WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero project, UKGBC’s collaborative initiative will engage with businesses, policymakers and industry bodies to build consensus on a way forward for new building standards. It will also look to incorporate emissions beyond operational carbon such as embodied carbon.

UKGBC member Bruntwood is also announced today as a new signatory of the Commitment – the first UK commercial property firm – joining the group of leading companies committing to operating their own buildings at net zero carbon by 2030. As part of their decarbonisation strategy, Bruntwood will embed energy efficient measures and installation of onsite generation/storage across their portfolio while refining energy and carbon management design principles; and support their customers and communities in taking action to lower carbon emissions.

Building on the corporate leadership being demonstrated globally, sub-national governments are also recognising their role in securing a net zero emissions future.

We are pleased to welcome our fifth regional signatory from the Under2 Coalition, the Scottish Government. As outlined in the detailed profile and action plan published today on the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment Signatories website, Scotland has extensive existing regulation and initiatives to reduce energy demand in buildings across the region, including a Climate Change Plan, Energy Strategy and Climate Change Bill to deliver a low-carbon transition which promotes social inclusion and sustainable growth.

Energy Efficient Scotland details the vision to make Scotland’s buildings warmer, greener and more efficient over the period to 2040 and where feasible, near zero carbon by 2050. It puts in place a long-term policy framework to improve the energy performance of existing homes and commercial and public sector buildings. Additional actions include targets to generate 100% of electricity from renewables by 2020, tracking and reporting emissions data from buildings via the Scottish Government’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

We welcome this action from the United Kingdom, and the leadership it demonstrates from these three sectors to bring net zero carbon buildings to reality.

Find out more about the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.