Koru attended Vision10’s ‘Time for a green and clean industrial strategy’ parliamentary launch in Westminster, London. The insightful event discussed what government can do to boost green and clean growth, as well as how to tackle climate change.
The main speaker for the event was Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes and Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry. The chair included Polly Billington, former special advisor to Ed Miliband and Dr Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton, former Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change.
Perry outlined the government’s question: what can it do that businesses cannot? Example are skills, infrastructure and stimulating markets. The government’s aim is to create clean growth and target decarbonisation.
Climate change is a concern for all. Statistically, two out of three young people are worried about climate change and a third of people over the age of 50 say that climate change is one of their top three concerns.
Investment and money can only go so far, but it is a collective battle against climate change. With the coming together of people and agreements from government, plus £30 trillion worth of investment, there’s an increased confidence in what can be done.
The audience comments included the fact that we are way off meeting the terms of the fifth carbon budget, that we are currently importing other people’s expertise and technology, remarks about industrial strategy backing renewables – mainly off-shore wind power and electric cars and the lack of consideration of waste or the circular economy, both of which could influence productivity.
What the government wants to achieve is meeting the climate change goals while improving the economy – it works both ways.
Former RIBA Climate Change Ambassador Lynne Sullivan commented that for every £1 spent on retrofitting, it reaps £4 in value.
We need more of a focus on the overall aim of the Clean Growth Plan – the main aims of the plan are twofold:
- Export more – renewables have a huge potential for export.
- Regional growth – renewables have the potential to create jobs all around the country, not just locally or in London.
Koru Architects’ Issi Rousseva expressed her issues:
- With a reliance on low carbon renewables, there’s a lack of government incentives and infrastructure which is stifling technology.
- Local authorities require more support from the government to be more ambitious with their green strategies – we need this built into national policy framework, rather than local policies, which aren’t as effective.
- The government should be focusing on what businesses can’t do, but also what they won’t do. It’s about building the right kinds of homes and investors have the capacity to do this, but they don’t without government incentives/ support.
- There is substantial investment into R&D, particularly in energy innovation and battery power, as well as technology in vehicles, however there is a lack of investment in influencing the construction industry.
- Government policy and building regulations are not doing enough to tackle embodied carbon e.g. in materials and construction processes.
- Huge problem with bridging the gap between research innovation projects and businesses/consumers.