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ICE welcomes plans for low carbon UK

ICE director general Tom Foulkes has said the construction industry can expect to play “a massive role” in meeting the carbon reduction commitments set out by the government in its Carbon Plan last week.

“With over 50% of the UK’s emissions coming from the use of energy and transport infrastructure alone […] the construction industry has a massive role in reducing emissions.”

He praised the publication of the Carbon Plan, which sets out ministers’ plan of action for meeting the Climate Change Act’s legally binding targets.

Cutting emissions

Under the Act, the UK must cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

The Carbon Plan states that “the oil and gas used to […] power industry will in large part need to be replaced by electricity, sustainable bioenergy, or hydrogen.”

Measures set out in the Plan range from insulating all household cavity walls and lofts by 2020 to investigating alternative aviation fuel sources.

Foulkes said that publication of a solid strategy to wean the UK off fossil fuel was welcome.

Over arching plans

“Having over-arching plans in place like this will hopefully give industry improved confidence to invest in making low carbon innovations,” he said. Foulkes added that “the ICE believes targeted interventions to tackle “carbon pinchpoints” in existing assets and a more strategic approach to managing demand to alleviate congestion could make a real impact on our emissions levels.

He said he believed the government had “made good progress towards this by including carbon as a measure of performance for critical infrastructure networks.”

The comments after ICE Scotland energy spokesperson David Anderson said this month that fossil fuel use in Scotland will “remain important” and be “unavoidable” during the next 50 years (ICE News last week).

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