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Mandelson launches low carbon construction probe

Business secretary Peter Mandelson today launched a new review of the construction industry, to ensure it was “fit for purpose” in a low-carbon future.

The announcement was made at today’s meeting of the Strategic Forum for Construction. The review will assess strengths and opportunities in the UK construction industry and look at ways to push the UK as a world leader in this field.

Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke will chair the Construction Innovation and Growth team (IGT), which will lead the review, until the Chief Construction Adviser is appointed in November, when he or she will take over.

Peter Mandelson said: “The construction industry must now face the challenge of exploiting the advantages of the low carbon economy. 

“I am delighted that Keith Clarke has agreed to take this forward until the new Chief Construction Advisor is appointed to lead this important work. I am impatient for rapid progress.” 

Chair of the Strategic Forum for Construction Nick Raynsford MP said: “I welcome this announcement. Together with the recent decision to appoint a Chief Construction Adviser, it puts construction right at the front of the shop window. It is absolutely critical that the industry works closely with the Government on this agenda and we now have a clear focus and framework to ensure proper and strategic engagement.”

‘New Industry New Jobs’, published in April identified the low carbon economy, the digital economy, life sciences and advanced manufacturing as areas to exploit in the future.

Commenting, Civil Engineering Contractors Association National director Rosemary Beales said:

“Shifting to a low carbon future will represent one of the major challenges for construction in the 21st century. While the need to reduce carbon has been much discussed in recent years there has, until now, been little clarity as to what this will mean for the construction industry. We need a clear roadmap highlighting how the industry can play its part in reducing the UK’s carbon output, leading the way and acting as a template that the rest of the world can follow.

“This is an important element for delivering a more sustainable future for the industry. However this future sustainability also relies upon the ability of businesses to overcome the pressing challenges associated with the current downturn. It is vital that these issues are also tackled and that Government remains focused on the role that the construction industry must play in the economic recovery.”


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