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Scottish UKGBC network launches at COP26

The UK Green Building Council has established a Scottish arm to support and drive the sustainability of the nation’s built environment sector.

UKGBC Scotland, which launched last Thursday at the COP26 climate conference, will develop a programme focused on what it calls “the progressive Scottish policy environment” and industry sectors.

Aiming to reach net zero carbon by 2045 – five years ahead of the UK-wide target – Scotland has announced several ambitious climate targets, including:

  • Reducing emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 75% by 2030
  • Reducing emissions by 90% by 2040

In October, the Scottish government published its Heat in Buildings Strategy, committing £1.8bn of funding on energy efficiency measures.

The government hopes to decarbonise heating in one million homes by 2030. All homes should have an EPC C rating by 2033.

UKGBC said that its Scottish network will “convene a diverse membership” of organisations within the built environment and develop regionally specific guidance for sustainability.

In line with UKGBC’s advocacy work across the UK, UKGBC Scotland said it will call for ambitious commitments, stronger standards and progressive policy.

‘A huge transition’

Patrick Harvie, Scotland’s zero carbon housing minister, said: “Our ambition is significant, and rightly so given the urgent action that is required if we are to stand a chance of limiting warming to under 1.5 degrees.

“This is a huge transition, affecting communities, businesses and households all across Scotland and we must all work collaboratively to deliver it. I therefore warmly welcome UK Green Building Council’s intention to establish a permanent presence in Scotland. Their expertise will be invaluable as we work with the sector to deliver cleaner, greener, buildings for the people of Scotland.”

Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of UKGBC, said: “Today’s announcement of the launch of UKGBC Scotland fulfils our longstanding ambition to establish a permanent network here, building upon the strong base of sector support which already exists.

“We’re extremely proud to be able to launch against the backdrop of COP26 and highlight the critical role the built environment plays in the transition to net zero.”

“We are here to support and represent the progressive voices spanning the entire built environment value chain in Scotland.”

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