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Government to Publish Net-Zero Roadmap for Education Estate

Government to Publish Net-Zero Roadmap for Education Estate
17 January 2024
 

The Department for Education has pledged to clarify how it will meet its sustainability targets.

Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education (DfE), confirmed to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) that a detailed roadmap will be published by Autumn 2024.

This decision is in response to EAC Chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP writing to the Secretary of State for Education in November 2023 to warn that the department was not “moving at pace” to deliver its net-zero by 2050 targets.

The EAC maintains that the government has not “fully grasped” the impact climate change could have on schools. They are also concerned that there is not sufficient funding to retrofit the estate, urging the government to consider sustainability and climate risks alongside essential retrofitting to replace RAAC.

Education amounts to 37 per cent of all public sector emissions, the biggest culprit in the sector.

 

“In November, the Committee raised alarm that the Department for Education’s current plans would see only 20 per cent of the school estate in England net-zero compliant by 2050. This is a significant worry when education is currently the largest emitter of carbon from buildings in the public sector.

–Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP

 

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said: “In November, the Committee raised alarm that the Department for Education’s current plans would see only 20 per cent of the school estate in England net-zero compliant by 2050. This is a significant worry when education is currently the largest emitter of carbon from buildings in the public sector. For the whole of the UK to meet net-zero, the education sector in England must make swifter progress on decarbonisation.

“I welcome the Minister’s commitment to publish a roadmap later this year for the Department for Education to meet its sustainability targets. This will be an invaluable resource, allowing the department to set out in detail the challenge ahead and giving Ministers sufficient visibility of the urgent case for significant additional funding for this large element of the public buildings estate.” 

Picture: a photograph of a school student wearing over-ear headphones and looking at a computer screen. They are also using a pen. The image is taken from behind so the student's face cannot be seen. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 January 2024

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