Summary of new and proposed legislation, May 2021 (UK Construction Focus) | Dentons

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International focus

FIDIC deals with sustainability issues

  • The International Association of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) started a series of State of the World reports identifying significant global challenges and problems and how they can be addressed. The first webinar in February 2021 covered “The Trillion Dollar Investment Challenge For The Global Infrastructure Sector”. The next, scheduled for August 2021, will consider whether, while the world is on the way to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and net zero, we should simply adapt our current way of life or think about a new way of life.

Consultation on environmental principles ahead of COP26

  • The Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is advising on a draft policy statement introducing five environmental principles that will be taken into account in future policy making as part of the environmental law (see Consultation on environmental principles initiated.) These five internationally recognized principles that “will guide future environmental protection policies” are:
  • The principle of integration, which says that politics should look for ways to embed environmental protection in other areas of politics that have an impact on the environment.
  • The principle of prevention means that government policies should aim to prevent, reduce or mitigate damage.
  • The source of disposal principle means that if damage to the environment cannot be prevented, it should be addressed at its source.
  • The polluter pays principle, where those who cause pollution or damage should be responsible for mitigation or compensation.
  • The precautionary principle states that in the event of threatened serious or irreversible environmental damage, a lack of scientific certainty must not be used to postpone cost-effective measures to prevent environmental damage.
  • The draft policy statement under consideration sets out how these principles should be interpreted and proportionately applied in all ministries in order to improve both environmental protection and sustainable development, and ministers’ understanding of the interpretation and application of these principles in policy making to enhance.
  • The environmental law obliges the government ministers to adhere to these principles and shows the government’s commitment to its ambitious environmental program and to “greener construction” ahead of the 2021 climate conference. The consultation ends on June 2, 2021 and can be found here.

Build Back Better Plan for Growth

  • HM Treasury has its. released Build Back Better Plan for Growth which “sets out the government’s plans to support growth through significant investments in infrastructure, skills and innovation, and to pursue growth that levels every part of the UK, enables the transition to net zero and our vision for a global one.” Great Britain supports “.
  • Against the background of the problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the paper Highlights: Policy on Build Back Better (with a proposed and unprecedented economic package to support people, businesses and the economy), the economic context (the impact of the pandemic), infrastructure (a commitment to transform UK infrastructure and more investment as a key component of economic recovery); Skills (the crucial role of education and training in sustaining productivity growth and international competitiveness); Innovation (to stimulate economic growth and improve living standards); Leveling Up (improving everyday life for people in areas who feel left behind); net zero (UK investing in and implementing strategies to achieve the objectives); Global Britain (including taking advantage of the opportunities presented by our new status as a fully sovereign trading nation); and the way forward (using the ambitious goals of this plan to “capitalize on the UK’s dynamic and open economy, address long-term problems and encourage new growth”).
  • The paper explains how the UK will achieve its net zero target by 2050 and summarizes what the government is doing with regards to the government’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, among other things.

Funding to support green innovators

  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched three new innovation challenges “to advance next-generation green technologies” in key areas of the green energy sector (energy storage technology, floating offshore wind and biomass production). More than £ 90 million of the government’s £ 1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio will be available to “green innovators” who will be invited to apply for funding to develop new technologies and enable the UK to become greener. (See Over £ 90 million in government funding to promote green technologies.)

Low-carbon heat and the Green Gas Levy

  • BEIS consulted about Future support for low carbon warmth in 2020, in which they proposed a Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) (which would increase the proportion of green gas in the network by promoting biomethane feed-in) and a Clean Heat Grant (to support heat pumps and, in certain circumstances, biomass through an upfront capital grant to overcome the upfront cost hurdle). The GGSS was to be funded by a Green Gas Levy (GGL) levied on all UK-licensed fossil gas suppliers (on which a consultation ran in September 2020: Advice on a green gas tax).
  • The government’s response to these consultations was published on March 17, 2021 and contains a summary of stakeholder responses. (See Future support for low carbon heating and the green gas tax Government consultation response.) The government intends to proceed with GGSS and GGL. With regard to the GGSS, the answer outlines the government’s decision on a 15-year tariff period, a three-tier structure, the sustainability criteria of the system and a minimum percentage of 50% for waste and residual raw materials. With regard to the GGL design, the answer specifies its scope, the methodology for the per meter point design, the frequency of the contribution payments, the collection of measurement point data and the notice period that is announced to the suppliers before the first contribution collection.
  • The government plans to issue a separate statement on the Clean Heat Grant in the course of 2021.

Cash boost for environmental upgrade

Industrial decarbonization strategy

  • BEIS published the UK net zero Industrial decarbonization strategy March 2021 (Britain becomes the first major economy in the world to present such a strategy), which sets out “how industry is decarbonised in line with net zero while remaining competitive without offshore emissions “. The strategy underlines the need to transform the manufacturing processes of the industrial sectors as a key element in meeting the UK’s emissions targets. The paper points to the construction sector as one of the largest buyers of industrial products (such as steel and concrete) and offers examples such as a case study of industry initiatives to reduce emissions and the “new tools for influencing procurement decisions from the lowest” costs such as procurement for construction workmanship Leadership Council “. The strategy builds the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Performance-based policy framework for large commercial / industrial buildings

  • The BEIS department has opened a consultation Introducing a performance-based policy framework in large commercial and industrial buildings (March 17, 2021). The consultation focuses “on the government’s proposals to introduce a national performance-based policy framework to assess the energy and carbon performance of large commercial and industrial buildings over 1,000 m² with annual assessments and mandatory disclosure as a first step”. Building on international best practices and the cooperation with industry, the strategy paper outlines “the reasons for the policy, its goals and proposals for their implementation”. The consultation ends on June 9, 2021.

Net zero strategy at the local level

  • The HCLGC started Local government and the road to net zero: new investigation (March 16, 2021) to review UK strategy to achieve the “net zero” target for 2050 at the local level. This will support local governments with responsibility for a number of areas that could also play a key role in the UK’s efforts to meet the net zero target, including local transportation, recycling and waste disposal. The new study will examine: proposals for establishing planning guidelines and building codes to reduce emissions from UK households; the current emphasis on heat pumps as a long-term solution to increasing energy; whether other options might prove more viable; and what other non-domestic measures local governments can take to contribute to the UK’s emissions reduction targets. the inquiry closes on April 30th, 2021.

Industry initiatives

  • The CLCs Strategy 2021, published March 23, 2021, prioritizes delivering a resilient construction industry through the use of initiatives such as net zero carbon. The strategy identifies the challenges facing the industry (in terms of carbon-free buildings and infrastructure, increasing productivity and performance, and status and trust), the three main priorities (industrial recovery, industry transformation and confidence-building) and sets out a three-year plan.
  • The CLC has launched a new initiative, ConstructZero, “to drive the carbon out of all parts of the construction sector, from manufacture and design to the construction and operation of facilities”. This cross-industry change program responds to the net zero target by 2050 and is intended to help bring the industry together in coordinating decarbonization.
  • Recognizing the impact of the built environment on the climate, the CLC urges the industry to “find a way to work together more effectively” and take on the net-zero challenge not only to survive but to be successful. (See the Press release, March 8, 2021.)
  • The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published a report Greening the tax system (March 2021) on a green tax policy that could help the industry achieve the net zero target. The report delves into the guiding principles of greening the tax system and examines how any environmental tax can drive net zero payments by 2050.
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