BCIA responds to Prime Minister’s speech on Government’s green industry

The BCIA has highlighted the importance of the Building Controls industry in response to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s speech this week, in which he set out changes to the UK’s green commitments, which he said will take a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach that eases the burdens on families.

The changes include:

  • A delay on the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035
  • More time to transition from gas boilers to heat pumps
  • A boiler upgrade scheme, which gives people cash grants, will be increased by 50% to £7,500
  • New exemptions for people in the poorest households, “so they never have to switch at all”

In his speech, the Prime Minister stated that he wants the Government to embrace the incredible opportunities of the green industry but said his new vision was “the only realistic path” to Net Zero.

Committing to reduce the UK’s emissions, Mr Sunak said: “When I look at our economic future, I see huge opportunities in the green industry.” He also reviewed how carbon targets were set in the past, insisting they could never be set in the same way again: “The last Carbon Budget process was debated in the House of Commons for just 17 minutes and voted through with barely any consideration given to the hard choices needed to fulfil it. It was the carbon equivalent of promising to boost government spending with no way to pay for it.”

Looking to the future, Mr Sunak wants more consideration given to plans to meet carbon budgets at the same time they are set, and then to “embrace with even greater enthusiasm, the incredible opportunities of the green industry and take the necessary practical steps to create whole new sectors and hundreds of thousands of good, well-paid jobs right across the country.”

In response to the Prime Minister’s speech, BCIA President Graeme Rees commented: “It is vital for our future generations that the UK’s green commitments are not simply dropped because they are considered inconvenient. However, the BCIA welcomes Government’s commitment to creating more green jobs and harnessing the opportunity of green industries. It makes sense to set realistic plans in order to meet our carbon reduction targets at the time they are set and the Building Controls industry is a rapidly expanding sector that is well prepared to directly support the Government’s approach and will be able to make quantifiable contributions to these aims.”

Emphasising the importance and value of the Building Controls sector as part of a greener future, Rees added: “Our industry and the tens of thousands it employs is a green industry creating high-value technology and engineering roles directly delivering carbon reduction solutions for developers and end-users. The BCIA provides training to support more than 500 people a year, enabling workers to upskill in sustainability focused disciplines. We have acknowledged the skills shortage issue with the development of the BEMS Controls Engineer Apprenticeship, which will ensure a pipeline of talent into the industry to deliver the sustainable buildings of the future.”