Last reviewed 2 November 2021

In advance of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the UK Government published its Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has examined the implications for construction companies.

In order to meet a legal obligation to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in England and Wales (Scotland aims to reach that target by 2045), the Strategy sets out policies and proposals for getting rid of fossil fuels such as oil and gas from the whole UK economy.

The 367-page Strategy document can be found here while an accompanying (202-page) report, the Heat and Buildings Strategy, is available here.

This latter document sets a goal to decarbonise the heat and buildings sector by between 47% and 62% before 2035.  New funding of £3.9 billion has been pledged to support ambitions to phase out the installation of natural gas boilers beyond 2035.

This includes a new £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme which will provide £5000 grants to households to help install heat pumps or other low carbon heating systems.

According to the CITB, the strategies show that construction employers are going to play a big role in helping the UK reach net zero.

“They provide certainty and stability for businesses by setting clear and timely targets and standards”, it suggests. “They will encourage many, such as natural gas engineers and electricians, to retrain to specialise in smarter, greener and cleaner technologies.”

More detail will follow in the coming months.

For England, the Green Jobs Taskforce action plan will be published in spring and is likely to provide much more information about what this all means for construction skills.