The UK’s infrastructure priorities for the next few years need to be heavily focused on green issues in order to meet Britain’s targets for decarbonisation, the Second National Infrastructure Assessment for the National Infrastructure Commission has concluded.
Its Baseline Report set out a number of major issues to be addressed, such as a need to step up the establishment of electric vehicle charging facilities to get petrol and diesel cars off the road, increase the share of electricity produced by renewable sources, increase hydrogen and carbon capture and storage capacity, improve surface water management and improve public transport between cities.
Among the findings of the report was that many of the public are unhappy with the state of Britain’s roads, while others criticise public transport provision. Another element criticised the ‘stop-start’ nature of efforts to make homes more energy efficient.
All this suggests that construction staff will be putting on their JCB work clothes to help the UK take big strides towards meeting the country’s commitments made at the Paris climate conference and the recent COP26 meeting.
Chair of the commission Sir John Armitt said the work will be “informed by input and insight from industry, political leaders, representative bodies, other organisations across the country and the public”, in order to “formulate policy recommendations to put forward to government”.
A major infrastructure project where big efforts are already being made on the environmental front is HS2.
HS2 Ltd has said the Colne Valley Viaduct just north of London is on course to save 28.4 per cent on carbon emissions through innovative concrete and steel construction methods.
This has reduced the amount of embedded carbon in the structure by 63,300 tonnes from the norm for such a structure, an equivalent carbon saving of 234,500 flights between London and Edinburgh.
When completed, the 3.4 km viaduct will be the longest railway bridge in Britain.