Chief Executive Clive Bairsto CBE gives his thoughts on the drive towards net zero, and what it will mean for the street works industry:
“As we enter a new decade, it’s clear that decarbonisation is a top priority for our country.
The government has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and this week, the energy regulator Ofgem, published its own Decarbonisation Action Plan, setting out a series of measures to meet this target.
While government and industry are taking positive steps to meet our climate change objectives, the public want us to go faster. A YouGov poll taken from November found that that a majority of people back the total decarbonisation of the economy by 2030 – twenty years ahead of our current target. These findings highlight a growing awareness of climate change issues and a willingness to support the necessary policy solutions.
As it’s an issue of growing importance, this week Street Works UK hosted an industry breakfast assessing the impact net-zero will have on street works, and I was struck by the fantastic work already being done across the sector as members prepare to adjust their business processes.
Over the next thirty years, we will be asked to do more as the builders of the nation’s infrastructure, beyond facilitating the delivery of electric vehicles. A key part of our work will be communicating the types of work we are doing, and how they fit into achieving our nation’s net-zero goals. Similarly, to achieve these targets we need to readily adopt innovation and work with local authority partners to deliver more collaborative works. A well-coordinated “dig-once” policy, involving multiple utilities, will play a significant role in reducing our carbon footprint.
Our members are already doing fantastic work to play their part in reaching net-zero. I am now looking forward to working with colleagues to explore what else we can do to create an environment that supports our members and allows us to lead the charge towards a greener future.”