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Net zero government inquiry

Environmental Audit Committee examines what the UK Government must do to align its own estate and activities with net zero emissions target.

Objectives of the consultation

This inquiry focuses on the sustainability of the Government’s estate and procurement processes and what action it needs to take to achieve its net zero emissions target by 2050 or sooner. 

The Committee welcomed written evidence on some or all of the points below, in no more than 3,000 words. 

Achieving a net zero government

  • What must be done to achieve a net zero government?
  • What time frame is required for government to achieve alignment with net zero emissions?
  • What challenges might government encounter as part of this process? How could these be overcome?
  • How should net zero targets be set, monitored and enforced?
  • What must government do to ensure a just transition and decent work as it moves its estate towards net zero?

Leadership and partnership

  • To what extent is government “leading by example” in aligning its estate and operations with net zero emissions?
  • What examples of good practice could government implement to become a net zero government?
  • How should the government work with the devolved administrations to achieve common goals across the UK?
  • How can the government report on and reduce its water use?
  • How can the government report on and reduce its carbon footprint?

Is government following its own advice?

  • Are existing government frameworks ambitious enough to meet the requirements set out by the Committee on Climate Change?
  • What must government do to achieve its Road to Zero target to make its entire fleet ultra-low emission by 2030?
  • What must be done to align the new set of Greening Government Commitments with a net zero government?
  • How can the government’s estate be more climate friendly?
  • How should government drive behaviour change in staff to ensure greener, healthier workplaces?

The inquiry closed on 15 August 2019.

Supporting papers

There were no additional documents supporting this inquiry. To access the original inquiry page, please follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE has long advocated for the potential and duty of the public sector to demonstrate leadership, give confidence to the industry about policy direction, and help build market capacity for a low carbon UK. CIBSE therefore very much welcomed this inquiry.

The Institution believes that the Government’s current plans for achieving zero carbon on their estate fall very short of the required extent, commitment and speed. This risks undermining public confidence in the UK’s commitment to net zero, prevents useful experience being developed and applied in other sectors, and delays the achievement of the target since the public sector is in itself a significant contributor to the UK’s carbon emissions. 

CIBSE has identified and highlighted in its response the key areas where the public sector has a duty and opportunity to drive the transition to zero carbon.

CIBSE response has been published, among other submissions, on the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry page. To read the CIBSE response, please follow the link below: