Whilst we at Maples Teesdale are working closely with a number of our clients to review their green lease provisions, many are aware of the wider issues being discussed at COP26 in Glasgow about the built environment. 

Read on to see how the UK is doing its bit to contribute to achieving net zero through reducing emissions from the built environment.

  • A new multimillion UK Urban Climate Action Programme was launched to help developing cities reduce their emissions and grow sustainably. The UK has committed £27.5m to support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to create a sustainable future and tackle climate change, by helping them to become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects.
  • The UK called on cities to make commitments to step up and set a net zero target that will help protect the places where people live and work, with the hope that this will future proof the world for future generations.
  • The UK reiterated its commitment to tackling emissions from the built environment sector through its recent heat and buildings and net zero strategies. Through these strategies, the UK plans to deploy the low-carbon technology needed to decarbonise homes, workplaces and public spaces:
    • The Heat and buildings strategy (October 2021) set out the UK government’s plan to significantly cut carbon emissions from the UK’s 30 million buildings – key commitments include delivering the 10 Point Plan commitment to Greener Buildings through:
      • Leading through the public sector – encouraging public sector organisations to monitor and report on their energy use
      • Continue to set minimum standards to ensure UK housing stock is on track to meet EPC band C by 2035
      • Setting privately rented commercial buildings a minimum efficiency standard of EPC band B by 2030
      • Introducing a new performance-based energy rating for large commercial and industrial buildings over 1000 sq m which use more energy than all other commercial and industrial buildings, while only accounting for 7% of the stock
    • The Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener (October 2021) – reducing the emissions across the UK economy through power, fuel supply and hydrogen, industry, heat and buildings, transport, natural resources and waste, and greenhouse gas removals.
      • Heat and buildings - decarbonising the way we heat and power our buildings by:      
      • Phasing out installation of new and replacement natural gas boilers by 2035
      • Making heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as a gas boiler by growing the heat pump market
      • Supporting households in making this transaction with a new £450m Boiler Upgrade Scheme
      • Consulting on phasing out the dirtiest and most expensive fossil fuels first (new oil, coal and liquefied petroleum gas heating) and replace with low carbon alternatives in non-domestic buildings from 2024
      • Ensure that low carbon technologies are no more expensive to run than fossil fuel boilers
  • The UK government confirmed it would be investing £3.9billion through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, the Home Upgrade Grant Scheme, Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, Boiler Upgrade Scheme and Heat Network Transformation Programme.
  • The UK referred to its Future Homes Standard, under which CO2 emissions will be cut from all new build homes in the UK by at least 75% from 2025, and by 31% through an improvement in building standards later this year.