EAC Meeting: Sustainability of the Built Environment

At the start of this year I joined the Environmental Audit Committee, a Select Committee which reviews whether Government policies achieve environmental protection and sustainable development. On Wednesday 19 January we had our first meeting of 2022 on the subject of ‘The Sustainability of the Built Environment’. We interviewed industry experts and Government Ministers, to establish progress in the industry and by Government on making construction compatible with the UK’s Net Zero climate change targets.

My questions to the Ministers focused on the jobs and skills that will be necessary for construction to reach Net Zero. I asked whether the Government had a specific programme to roll out the huge number of green jobs needed across the country, and train existent construction workers with new skills. I asked what the Government was doing not only through universities but at institutions like Walsall College to promote green up-skilling.

If new technology such as electric home heating is to take root, consumers need confidence. I asked the Ministers whether the Government would set out a campaign to reassure customers new technologies are safe and effective. The Committee’s most recent report focused on the topic of Green Jobs, and the Government were due to formally respond. I asked the Minister when the response would be forthcoming, and we have since received the Government’s consideration of the Committee’s suggestions.