The message from COP27 is that we are fast running out of time… But [OUR MEMBERS] are calling for national government leadership to make the exceptional normal.”

Julie Hirigoyen, UKGBC

Buildings are the UK’s second largest source of climate emissions after surface transport. With time running out to keep global temperatures to 1.5 degrees, a laser-like focus on the policies needed to decarbonise this sector is essential.

This scorecard on the Government’s policies assesses progress over the past year since the Heat and Buildings Strategy was launched in October 2021 and shines a light on the big opportunities the Government must grasp in order to cut emissions and boost the green economy in the year ahead.

It compares the policies that have been announced or are in delivery against the comprehensive set of policy recommendations made in the UKGBC’s Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built environment, which enjoys broad industry support. In each of the key areas – operational carbon, embodied carbon and infrastructure, we have assessed the significance of the policy area, the policy gaps and the size of the economic prize if Government takes action this year. We have colour coded progress in each area using a red-amber-green criteria.

Key Takeaways


Most of the Government’s proposals or plans for an area are not in line with our recommendations or the needs of a net zero carbon built environment for the UK


Cutting energy waste from homes is one of the biggest opportunities the Government has this year to simultaneously tackle the cost-of-living crisis, energy security, inflation and levelling up.


Policy on decarbonising non-domestic buildings appears to be frozen, with little to no progress.


Few homes and buildings built today are net-zero and adapted to our changing climate – this must change.


Embodied Carbon is a huge gap in government policy and continued delay increases the costs of net zero.