The government has given property a key role in helping the government cut UK carbon emissions 34% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Yesterday, the government launched its UK Low Carbon Transition Plan to map out how it could achieve the cuts in emissions.

It said all key planning documents should take account of climate change, including national policy statements on large infrastructure projects, regional strategies and local development documents.

The government said it would look to change building standards so buildings are able to cope with climate change.

It said that it had already made it a requirement for contractors to consider heat gains in domestic buildings, as well as heat losses, from October 2009.

It is also consulting on requirements for Energy Performance Certificate ratings to be put on property advertisements.

The government reiterated its plans to make all new public non-domestic buildings zero carbon from 2018 and all new non-domestic buildings zero carbon from 2019.

Ed Miliband, energy and climate change secretary, said it wanted the UK to generate 40% of electricity from low carbon sources by 2020.

‘Renewables, nuclear and clean fossil fuels are the trinity of low carbon and the future of energy in Britain,’ he said.

Tim Mockett, joint managing director of the property arm at Climate Change Capital said he was pleased that the government was addressing key areas around the built environment including energy efficiency, energy infrastructure and renewables.

‘This package includes use a mixture of incentives and disincentives, both of which are required. The end result will be of benefit to occupiers of both public and private sector buildings and also investors in commercial property who will see better quality buildings produce improved returns,’ he said.