The Construction Products Association has welcomed the publication of the government's draft Climate Change Bill as a key process in establishing the policy framework towards delivering a low-carbon economy.
Although much of the scene has already been set by the Stern Review, and the recent report from the International Policy on Climate Change, there is an urgent need to achieve global agreement to ensure that the excellent work of the UK and EU is not undermined.
Rita Singh, Environment and Industry Performance Director for the Association said: "The Association is encouraged by the Chancellor's announcement to focus on existing stock to improve energy efficiency. Just one per cent improvement in reducing carbon emissions from existing stock is more than equal to making a full year's new build, zero carbon. We therefore welcome the Chancellor's commitment to review existing EU tax policies and make it possible to reduce VAT on energy efficient products rather than just for their installations.
"The Construction Products Association and its members see this as a clear opportunity to take the lead and are keen to drive the agenda forward for improvements in energy efficiency, as this is the most easiest and cost-effective way to reducing CO2 emissions.
"Much time has already been lost in focusing on technological innovations. The Association's view is that the technological solutions are already in place but action is what is needed to make the difference. We urge Departments to put the mechanisms in place to improve the existing stock and enable the industry to take up this challenge.
"Businesses need long-term certainty and stability in policy frameworks to enable sound and effective investments to be made. We therefore welcome the proposal to set targets by 2050 with interim reviews to ensure UK is on track.
"Climate change is a global problem and we welcome the government's drive to develop international agreements on tackling climate change. There are already a number of policies in place at national and EU level, but the next step is in gathering global momentum.
"Without a global agreement, much of the good work of the UK and EU could be lost and place unnecessary burdens on businesses that are increasingly competing internationally".
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Construction Products Association represents the UK's manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings. The Association acts as the voice of the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of £40 billion and accounts for 40% of total construction output.