Builders urge Scottish Government to ‘pause and review’ viability of net zero regulation

Jane Wood. Image credit: Chris Watt

SCOTLAND’S housebuilding sector is calling for the Scottish Government to ‘pause and review viability’ of net zero legislation, following the announcement that Scotland can no longer fulfil its commitment of a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Trade body Homes for Scotland said the ministerial statement from cabinet secretary for wellbeing economy, net zero and energy Màiri McAllan MSP, reflects ‘long-standing’ housebuilding sector concerns on the viability of original timescales in relation to the transition to net zero.

Jane Wood, chief executive of body Homes for Scotland, said, “The homebuilding sector has been clear and consistent in its recognition of and support for the need to do more at the earliest practicable opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the construction and operation of new build homes but has long-standing concerns regarding the viability of legislation being brought forward to achieve this and lack of a clear and co-ordinated delivery route map.

“With four local authorities already declaring housing emergencies, an accumulated shortfall of over 100,000 homes since 2008 and recent research showing that over a quarter of households are facing some form of housing need, it is imperative that all future regulation and policy is considered in this context.

“Given the current economic conditions and regulatory challenges our home builder members who operate across all tenures face, this transition, much like the overarching ambition to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030, is unachievable under current timescales. We therefore encourage the Scottish Government to pause and review any further regulation, such as their commitment to introduce a Passivhaus Equivalent Standard for new homes from 2025, and to work with us and other stakeholders to prepare a clear road map which would enable the sector to deliver low-carbon homes at scale and pace, ensuring that Scotland has the homes it requires to meet the needs of its people.”