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Kevin McCloud and MPs back ‘Building Blocks’ climate campaign

Building Blocks Kevin McCloud
Kevin McCloud is the presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs and The Great Climate Fight (Image: Bortescristian via Dreamstime.com)

Channel 4 presenter Kevin McCloud joined MPs and industry leaders to call on the next government to commit to critical climate policies during its first 100 days in office.

McCloud urged legislators at a parliamentary event to support early adoption policies to address the climate emergency, including:

  • Aligning with industry-backed Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard reporting processes and metrics;
  • Legislating embodied carbon;
  • Providing financial incentives that prioritise retrofit and reuse;
  • Establishing the infrastructure to allow the reuse of construction materials at scale;
  • Creating a nationwide green jobs strategy.

“Who wouldn’t want to make it happen and take the skills and materials we have to build a zero carbon future?” said McCloud. “If you want to build the future, build it. Build places that will last and that our children and grandchildren will thank us for.”

More than 60 MPs, peers, parliamentary climate committee members and industry leaders attended the event, hosted and chaired by Caroline Lucas MP.

Launched by not-for-profit Architects Declare, the early adoption policies have been endorsed by leading built environment bodies, including CIOB, CIBSE, and the UK Green Building Council.

They are part of the Building Blocks manifesto, which provides the UK with a policy framework for the built environment to address the climate emergency.

Green knowledge and skills

To support ‘the building blocks’ long-term success, the manifesto says it needs a series of foundations such as providing climate literacy at a national scale and fostering climate leadership through reforms and working with local authorities.

Amanda Williams, head of environmental sustainability of CIOB, said: “I was particularly pleased to see Climate Literacy highlighted as one of the foundations for success. If we are not developing green knowledge and skills, we are not preparing people to operate effectively in a world that will need those skills, and a jobs market that is going to demand them.”

The UK built environment is linked to 42% of carbon emissions, 62% of waste and 50% of material consumption. Research by Architects Declare shows that adoption of the Building Blocks policies has the potential to save the NHS £1.36bn through retrofitting cold homes, boost the UK economy by £82bn through the transition to a circular economy, and create 725,000 jobs within the low-carbon sector.

Earlier this month, the UK government became one of the 70 signatories of the Déclaration de Chaillot, a foundational document for international cooperation acknowledging the need for national policies that drastically decrease emissions in new and existing buildings, enhance carbon storage and adapt buildings to climate change.

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