Housebuilding industry body to work collaboratively with new Green ministers

Housebuilding industry body to work collaboratively with new Green ministers

Fionna Kell

Industry body Homes for Scotland (HFS) has outlined its intention to work collaboratively with new Green ministers Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater in support of net zero transition ambitions following their appointments earlier this week.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has been named minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights.

Working with the housing secretary Shona Robison and net zero secretary Michael Matheson, Mr Harvie’s responsibilities will include driving policy changes that shift Scotland away from reliance on high carbon modes of transport and heating and towards greener alternatives – seen as essential as part of the push towards a net zero economy by 2045.

Ensuring fairness during that transformation will also see Mr Harvie lead on delivering a new deal for tenants, and ensuring building standards are fit for purpose.

Fellow Greens co-leader Lorna Slater will take on the role of minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, working with Michael Matheson as well as the finance and economy secretary Kate Forbes.

Ms Slater will drive a Green Industrial Strategy, helping people access training and opportunities as part of a net zero Scotland, and ensuring the economy is supported through a just transition to net zero.

Supporting biodiversity and protecting our national parks and natural heritage will also form part of Ms Slater’s role, working closely with NatureScot and Zero Waste Scotland and supporting the development of a circular economy that minimises the impact on the natural environment.

HFS director of policy Fionna Kell said: “Whilst the retrofitting of existing housing will be a massive task, Scotland’s home builders are already well on the path to net zero – with a 75% reduction in carbon emissions from new homes built today compared to 1990 baselines.

“There is more to do, of course, which will be challenging, not only for builders in terms of skills, grid capacity and supply chain readiness, but also for consumers in terms of demand and behaviour change as new technologies are introduced.

“It was pleasing to see affordable housing ambitions increased as a result of the co-operation agreement, in the delivery of which the private sector will have a key role to play. We value our collaboration with the Scottish Government and will continue to work positively and constructively with ministers as we all seek to address the climate emergency.”

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