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Announcements provide indication on zero carbon effect on FM

19 November 2020

This week has seen a number of government announcements confirming its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Included within these have been its 10-point plan, confirming investment and the main areas of concentration, providing more clarity and indication on how the move is likely to affect the FM sector.

The government has also brought forward the banning of sales of diesel and petrol vehicles from 2035 to 2030, adding further impetus to the increasing number of electrical vehicle (EV) charging points being installed in facilities around the UK.

In addition to increasing offshore wind projects, the government's 10-point plan has committed to investing in hydrogen production for industry, transport and power.

Nuclear power is also included in the plan, which incorporates consideration for large scale, small and advanced reactors.

Increased support for EV manufacturing also features in the plan, including the need for improved infrastructure.

Zero-emission public transport is another focus, which will include a drive to make walking and cycling more attractive.

Increased support to make air and see travel more environmentally friendly will be provided through the JetZero and greener maritime section of the 10-point plan.

Perhaps one of the most noticeable FM-relevant aspects of the initiative is the focus on improving public buildings and homes to make them more energy efficient, greener and warmer.

A target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030 is included within the carbon capture part of the plan, which includes making the UK a world-leading developer of the necessary technology to deliver this.

The planting of 30,000 hectares of trees every year will provide further assistance in the net zero carbon journey.

The final part of the 10-point plan includes making London the “global centre of green finance” while driving investment in new technologies to achieve net zero.

Funding of £4bn has been pledged by the government to support the 10-point plan and is expected to generate many times this figure in the years ahead.

Industry bodies have responded positively to the announcements, with the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) launching its #GetZeroCarbonDone initiative.

This is designed to highlight the main areas where the electrotechnical sector can provide essential contributions to both upskilling the workforce and reducing carbon emissions.

Further enthusiastic support has been seen from the Heat Pump Association (HPA), highlighting the fact that the homes and public buildings part of the plan requires 600,000 heat pumps a year to be installed by 2028.

Further detail will need to be provided on how the government expects its 10-point plan to be delivered and provide further clarity on how this will affect the FM sector.

However, it can clearly be seen that changes to generation and use of power, combined with adjustments to transport, will see a number of changes emerging for the running of facilities and estates in all areas of the UK.

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