RICS announced its commitment to taking concrete action to respond to the challenges of climate change in the UK. Following the announcement of the Global Climate Change Strategy last week in New York, RICS is launching its plan for the UK. After signing the Communiqué on Climate Change* and urging world leaders to agree on an ambitious, credible and equitable deal to save the planet, RICS now wants to go a step further and offer evidence of the value and potential of an emerging low carbon property market.
Among the key over reaching priorities of its climate change strategy RICS, with the help of its members working in all fields of the real estate sector, will provide standards, guidance and information to enable qualified professionals to understand climate change and promote best practice and work towards improving and standardizing sustainability measuring and reporting.
RICS has recognized the diversity of sustainability needs in the UK regions and to deliver its climate change strategy RICS has identified, among many others, the following as priorities:
- In Northern Ireland RICS will lobby for sustainable construction to be a key requirement in new infrastructure
- RICS will engage with the Welsh Assembly Government through the Zero/Low Carbon Hub's Existing Home's Alliance, to examine ways of making the existing housing stock more energy efficient.
- Work with the Scottish Government in light of the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and implementing the current Climate Change (Scotland) Bill.
- Work with the Department of Communities and Local Government in England and Wales on the topic of value and energy efficiency for existing properties.
- RICS will continue its active membership of Sustainable Built Environment East
- In the North of England, RICS will monitor the efforts made by both private and public organisations to develop new and innovative ways in which to create and promote new sustainable development and retrofit existing property.
- In the South of England, RICS will highlight the impact of climate projections on the future of the South East region
- In the West Midlands and South West, RICS will promote sustainable home code levels in all sectors.
- Develop new policy for rural communities in terms of what will be required for that sector's future contribution to addressing climate change.
Commenting, Dan Cook, RICS head of policy and corporate Affairs said: "RICS supports the scientific evidence of climate change and the associated risks both for the planet's ecosystems and societies. Through the range and diversity of its membership, RICS is well placed to understand sustainability across the land, property and construction sectors. With new regulatory frameworks beginning to establish a market for low carbon rated property in both commercial and domestic sectors, RICS members are ideally placed to claim this "first mover advantage". However, any success will depend on the development of harmonised standards for measurement and further analysis of what policies are needed to create value for sustainable buildings. These two areas will be the key priorities of our work in the coming months."