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24 SEP 2019

Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution to boost infrastructure

Dr Patrice Cairns RICS

Dr Patrice Cairns

Policy Manager, Northern Ireland

Belfast, UK

RICS

In the immediate wake of the recent Global Climate Strike and the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell set the scene at Labour's Conference by labelling climate change as the most important political question of our time.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, announced Labour's plans for the party's Green Industrial Revolution, setting out intentions to deliver the following targets through the 'Peoples Power Plan':

  • A seven-fold increase in offshore turbines in twelve years
  • National Transformation Fund to allocate £6.2 billion to jumpstarting a home-grown renewable industry
  • £83 billion investment and strengthen our manufacturing sector by using public buying power to support local businesses, re-shoring thousands of jobs to coastal towns
  • 20% of the public profits from offshore wind will be carved out for a 'People's Power Fund', investing up to £1 billion into held back, coastal communities. It will invest in leisure centres, libraries, parks, harbour waterfronts

In a change of balance, off-shore wind power is now cheaper per kWh than nuclear power. Scaling up within the sector, the continued evolving of smart grid systems and the emergence of home storage technologies together impact on energy provision and use within the built environment. In such the demand for skilled professionals within every stage of the development sector increases, but does supply meet demand?

The second major tranche of Labour's proposed Green Industrial Revolution is a plan to deliver a significant boost to elective vehicle provision. Most notably by investing £3.6 billion into a mammoth expansion of the UK's electric vehicle charging networks, equating to over 72,000 charging banks, in towns and along motorways, and investing £1.8 billion in collaboration with private investors to build three 'Gigafactories'.

RICS recognise how electric vehicles working in tandem with efficient mass transit systems could revolutionise urban infrastructure planning and help tackle the climate change crisis. However, we would urge that development of transport infrastructure, is considerate of both the innovative design to reduce carbon emissions and the mitigating problem that project processes of construction, maintenance, and operation can contribute. The International Construction Management Standard, 2nd Edition, provides a tool to approximately assess the optimum construction cost of design trade-offs and drive more whole life-cycle sustainable infrastructure.

Chartered Surveyors and the wider built environment sector will play a critical part in the roll-out of both electric vehicles and offshore wind infrastructure. Through the introduction of new standards, professional guidance, sharing best practice amongst professionals, and driving thought leadership RICS will champion and support innovation to achieve a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future.

Dr Patrice Cairns RICS

Dr Patrice Cairns

Policy Manager, Northern Ireland

Belfast, UK

RICS

Dr Cairns is a policy manager within the RICS UK Government Relations team. In addition to developing UK policy and promoting RICS thought leadership, Dr Cairns is responsible for leading RICS public policy work in Northern Ireland across all priority issues and key sectors. She works to build RICS' influence, credibility and profile.

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