Essex Developers Group looking to sign up to a new Climate Action Charter

09 November 2021

In line with UK Government policy and their Net Zero Strategy – Building Back Greener, the Essex Developers Group is looking to sign up to  a Developers Climate Action Charter with the four-fold aim of:

  1. Securing global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degree C within reach
  2. Adapting to protect communities and natural habitat
  3. Mobilising finance
  4. Working together to deliver the above goals

The Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Revolution forming part of the Net Zero Strategy, particularly in relation to Green Transport (5), Green Buildings (7) and Protecting our Natural Environment (9) provides the framework for this Charter, as will the outcomes of COP26 which will be considered in the Charter’s Action Plan.

EDG recognizes the need for urgent action across the built environment including reducing emissions from buildings, energy and waste.

EDG can help to plan for this future change by careful designing and locating private market / affordable housing in sustainable locations, minimising energy and transport and supporting the roll-out of smart infrastructure.

EDG can adapt and protect communities and natural habitats, through improving resilience of existing homes and neighbourhoods and improving access to green space. Also prioritising green and blue infrastructure and sustainable urban drainage systems.

EDG can help mobilise finance from both the public sector in terms of grants and loans and private sector through fund raising, to support continued investment, resourcing and training to meet the UK’s sustainable development  (in their Net Zero Strategy) and those being developed more locally through the Essex Climate Action Commission and through professional bodies such as the Royal Town Planning Institute

Key Essex Climate Action residential targets are set out as follows:

  • Two thirds all dwellings to be retrofitted as far as possible to net zero carbon standards by 2030.
  • Existing residential buildings- carbon emissions reduction of 50% by 2030 and Carbon Zero by 2040.
  • All New Homes Consented to be Carbon Zero by 2025
  • All New Homes and non-domestics buildings consented to be Carbon Positive by 2030 (along with the schools zero carbon programme)

Meeting these ambitious targets will deliver a number of additional benefits from Climate Action. In the construction sector alone in Essex, these include:

  • 200,000 new sustainable homes & 40+ schools
  • Retrofit c800,000 existing homes of which 70% are EPC D or below
  • Bringing 67,000 homes out of fuel poverty
  • Green construction expected to create 1.8m new jobs of which 0.5m in Wider South East

The Chair of the Essex Developers Group, Mark Curle commented: “Working together to deliver the ambition to collaborate and respond to climate change across the built environment sector is very much alive. The level of climate action required cannot be done in isolation. This will require a “whole systems” approach where there is collaboration between house builders, contractors, agents and public sector who will also need to embrace cross departmental working and engagement with local communities. To this end, we (the Essex Developers Group) have drafted a Developers Climate Action Charter and will be preparing an action plan to help partners meet their zero carbon ambitions in the construction sector”.

Richard Davidson, Director at Willmott Dixon and members of EDG, also commented: “we fully support the ambitions of the Climate Action Charter, as a company we have already targeted all our new build and refurbishment projects delivered from 2030 to be net zero carbon in operation without offsetting. In doing so, we would like to share our experience and help to support the delivery of a meaningful action plan to meet these ambitious targets”.