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Summer Reception - Greening Britain's Infrastructure

Summer Reception - Greening Britain's Infrastructure

18th July 2018

Policy Connect hosted the National Infrastructure Commission and speakers from across the political spectrum to discuss what infrastructure the UK should be prioritising to build in the future.

Hosted by the Policy Connect Sustainability Team, this parliamentary drinks reception on 18 July 2018 was an opportunity for to discuss the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) document, recently produced by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). Speakers and attendees discussed what infrastructure the Government should prioritise, and what opportunities there are for sustainable infrastructure. The NIC identified the three key challenges of carbon, congestion and capacity that infrastructure needs to address.

The NIA examines seven key areas, and sets out the vision and priorities for helping meet the country’s needs up to 2050. Those seven areas are:

  • Building a digital society
  • Connected, liveable city-regions
  • Infrastructure to support housing
  • Eliminating carbon emissions from energy and waste
  • A revolution in road transport
  • Reducing the risk of drought and flooding
  • Financing and funding infrastructure in efficient ways

The key points from the event speeches were:

  • Adaptation of our communities to the effects of climate change is as important as mitigating temperature rise in the atmosphere.
  • The NIC’s infrastructure recommendations have been carefully costed and are affordable.
  • The road, rail, air, broadband, mobile and energy networks all need to become more smart, flexible and productive to benefit the economy and future generations.
  • More investment needs to be made in renewable sources of power such as wind to decarbonise the network. Only 1.1% of energy is currently generated by wind power, compared to 58% from natural gas.
  • There are serious risk of water shortages and flooding to communities in the future, and we need make the water network more resilient to these shocks to prepare. The NIA shows the importance of long term targets for supply, metering and leakage reduction.
  • The South East of England is where people want to live, but at the same time the Government needs to develop plans to allow other parts of the country to become more successful. Although we need more housing in the UK, we need to build appropriate homes in appropriate places.