May wrong to “cut green crap”, says FMB

Published:  18 July, 2016

Theresa May’s decision to scrap the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is alarming as it signals that improving the energy efficiency of our existing buildings has been pushed further down the list of government priorities, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Three years ago, David Cameron told his officials to “cut the green crap” and Ms May has taken this further still by dissolving DECC. This means that there will be no cabinet-level Minister championing climate change issues at the highest level of government, which is bound to result in less emphasis and less action.”

Mr Berry said that Ms May should make improving existing buildings an infrastructure investment priority as the knock-on benefits for jobs and growth can be enormous. According to his estimates, a programme to make British buildings more energy efficient would generate £8.7bn of net benefits, comparable to the benefits delivered by the first phase of HS2, Crossrail, smart meter roll out, or investment in new roads.

“We welcome the appointment of Justine Greening as Secretary of State for Education with responsibility for skills and apprentices, which previously came under the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. We hope that she continues the good work of Nick Boles in improving the quality of apprenticeships, which will in turn help elevate their status so that they are recognised by society as of equal worth to university degrees,” continued Mr Berry.

“Greening has a solid background in transport and treasury briefs which will no doubt help her understand the importance of having a properly skilled construction workforce. As we face the prospect of Brexit, combating the construction skills crisis has never been more important.”

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