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In brief: Net zero for UK buildings is now or never

To achieve net zero by 2050, all new buildings need to be net-zero carbon ready by 2030.

The current supply of net-zero carbon buildings in the UK will be insufficient to meet the growth in demand for such assets, according to a new report from New York-based asset manager BlackRock and UK bank NatWest, titled Net Zero: A Collaborative Way Forward.

The International Energy Agency estimates that 80 percent of UK buildings set to be standing in 2050 have already been built, the report said. To achieve net zero by 2050, all new buildings will need to be net-zero carbon ready by 2030, while 50 percent of existing buildings will need to be retrofitted in line with net-zero carbon targets by 2040 and 85 percent by 2050, according to the IEA.

However, action over the next decade is key: “Any delay in implementing the level of retrofitting needed by 2030 would result in such a steep ramp-up in demand, that retrofitting most buildings by 2050 would be virtually impossible,” the report said.