Our recent webinar ‘The Law Society Guidance on the Impact of Climate Change on Solicitors: What does this mean for solicitors?’ is now available to watch on demand.
The webinar, hosted by Landmark, focussed on The Law Society Guidance on the Impact of Climate Change on Solicitors, and was originally shown on the 4th May.
The webinar was specifically designed for solicitors as a tool to help them understand the guidance and its implications.
The session covers two main areas of the guidance.
- Firstly, reducing the climate change impact of the law firm and its clients, which includes assessing annual carbon emissions and setting targets to achieve net zero by 2050.
- Secondly, the guidance examines climate change risks, including the duties of advising and warning clients about such risks.
Our distinguished speakers are Kirsty Green-Mann, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Burges Salmon LLP, Professor Robert Lee at Birmingham University, and Simon Boyle, Environmental Lawyer at Landmark.
- Summary of the Law Society Guidance and what this means for solicitors’ advice
- What’s the role that a law firm plays in reducing its carbon footprint and disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities?
- An overview of how Burges Salmon has implemented Net Zero
- Panel Discussion: What are the requirements for lawyers to fulfil the guidance and next steps for them
To watch the webinar on demand, please visit this page, and fill in the form.
This survey and guide reveals how a desire for more information about climate and the environment may start changing residential conveyancing processes.
The transition to Net Zero is a long term goal, but it’s clear home movers are factoring climate change into their decisions now. Our parent company Landmark’s survey shows there’s already a desire for more data, earlier in the process. It’s a revealing snapshot.
Download the guide to find out:
- Residential conveyancers views on who is responsible for advising on climate change
- The percentage of home movers prepared to invest in energy efficiency measures
- How agents and conveyancers are handling the need for a Net Zero strategy
- What percentage of firms are reporting on future climate change risks to their clients
Residential estate agents and conveyancers are trusted to source the right information at the right time. This survey shows that many firms want more guidance from authoritative organisations on the provision of climate change information to home movers.
Landmark Information Group provides climate data to colleagues working in every part of the property industry’s value chain. Our work includes surveys and reports like this one, surfacing insights on subjects such as Climate Change, Digital Transformation, and the Home Mover Experience.
Download the guide, understand colleagues’ views on reporting around climate change and information exchange with vendors and purchasers.
Complete the form, we’ll send our guide – View on Climate Change Information in Residential Conveyancing – straight to your in-box.
Introducing the Landmark Climate Change Report: Helping property professionals, property investors and businesses to understand how climate change could impact a property.
It is highly important to start reporting on climate change and the numbers can prove it:
- 2022 was officially the warmest year on record for the UK (Source: BBC)
- Large-scale action in all sectors of the economy will be required, including tackling emissions generated by the building stock, which accounts for 31% of our national emissions. (Souce: Gov.uk)
- 25 percent of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the built environment. (Source: parliament.uk)
The Landmark Climate Change Report is a desktop report, designed to enable property professionals to understand how climate change could impact a given residential or commercial property. Unlike other reports in the market, it benefits from understanding the concerns of both:
- Physical risks [flooding, subsidence, heat stress, coastal erosion]
- Transition risks [energy performance]
The report is property specific, based on a UPRN, and doesn’t stop with providing just data; delivered in an intuitive format Landmark Climate Change Report gives property professionals the ability to inform clients with advice and recommendations relating to climate change.
Who is this report for?
The Landmark Climate Change Report is for real estate lawyers and residential conveyancers¿ who want to provide best practice due diligence and inform their clients on future climate change risks
The report gives the ability to inform on short, medium and long-term physical and transitional climate-related risks for a specific property with advice and recommendations if appropriate, delivered in an intuitive format unlike current reports in the market which provide unsupported data and little explanation in every environmental report, regardless of requirements.
Landmark asked leading experts in their property-related fields to contribute to a white paper, which sets out the physical and transitional risks that the industry faces – and proposes workable solutions to the challenge of reporting on and responding to the risks.
Additionally, you can also check out a series of Landmark blog posts here:
- A duty to warn of climate-related risks
- How property lawyers can act now on climate change
- Reflections at the end of COP 27
- Climate change: there is no time left for prevarication or procrastination
- Climate change: you can’t fix what you don’t measure
This is a snippet of a blog post written by Simon Boyle, a solicitor from Landmark Information Group, reflecting on thoughts post-COP 27. To read the full post, click here.
The 27th Conference of the Parties held at Sharm el-Sheikh has drawn to a close. As with the previous COPs it has had mixed results. There was a positive development in the agreement to set up the loss and damage fund to help the poorest countries- but overall it did not deliver that which was urgently needed- a binding target on the big emitters whose economies are still mainly powered by fossil fuels. At the start of the conference Alok Sharma (President of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference and British Politician) warned that this was the last opportunity that world leaders had to ensure that the global temperature would not exceed 1.5 degrees c.
But with the failure to agree on binding targets, especially from the three biggest emitters China, US and India, it is looking almost certain that the critical 1.5°C goal set by the Paris COP in 2015 is not going to be achieved.
This should be ringing alarm bells across the world. We are already experiencing the effects of climate change from the 1.1°C rise that we have had so far. And of course, things will get a lot worse once we get to the 1.5°C of warming. But it is at least far better than a 2°C rise within the next 20 years.
That extra half degree additional increase may sound relatively modest but the global effects on both ecosystems and humans would be profound. For example, at 1.5°C of warming 8 % of plants will lose their habitable area but this doubles to 16% at a 2°C rise. A 1.5°C rise is predicted to destroy 70% of the world’s coral reefs but a 2°C rise will wipe them out entirely.
We would like to share the Q3 edition of Landmark’s Property Trends Report, which provides a complete summary of the 2021 property transaction pipeline from listings through SSTC, search and finally completion milestones, compared to 2019.
The data this quarter captures the end of the SDLT holiday and observes the market as it tries to find equilibrium.
Property search order-volumes were consistent across the quarter, with volumes marginally higher than 2019 figures: +3% in July, +4% in August and +2% in September.
Other insights include:
- Listings were down by an average of 9% compared to 2019 levels
- Completions in September rose 44% above September 2019 levels, driven by the need to beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline.
This month’s edition of the Property Trends report will also include Landmark’s Demand/ Supply Variance (DSV) report, to provide deeper insights into how demand continues to outpace supply, where July was the only month where listings were marginally higher than SSTC – the first month since October 2020.
We hope you find our trend reports useful. Please CLICK HERE to access a copy of the Property Trends report.
We’ve made it to the final instalment in our Risk Series, a series in which we have examined the top five conveyancing risks in more detail.
Over the past few months we have taken a deep dive into a different risk, be it flood, ground stability, planning or coal. Today our focus is on Energy & Infrastructure, written by Mark Taylor, Channel Manager at Landmark Information and environmental auditor with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
The rebirth of infrastructure
Whilst other topics have been at the forefront of UK politics since 2016, one issue that has remained in the background – recently moving back into the spotlight – is large scale infrastructure projects. It isn’t just topical in the UK; in the United States, President Biden is also targeting massive national investment into its infrastructure.
Whilst not on the financial scale of the US, the UK Government is planning significant expenditure into infrastructure and the creation of a new National Infrastructure Bank. The hope is to not just improve travel services and access; the investment principles look to support wider objectives including regional and local economic growth and helping tackle climate change through clean energy projects (HM Treasury, 2021).
Infrastructure and Property
With most infrastructure plans, especially those of national significance and size, there are always likely to be two sides to the discussion.
Constructed over three phases, High Speed 2 will initially connect London to the West Midlands, the West Midlands to Crewe and finally to the north-west and north-east. Throughout the network, HS2 is expected to increase access and speed up commuter times while increasing the overall rail networks capacity. HS2 report that once fully operational, it is expected that 300,000 passengers will use the network daily (HS2, 2021).
Given the scale of the project across the country, inevitably some communities will be negatively impacted, with links to the potential reduction in some house prices. In response, HS2 have set up several schemes including rural support zones, homeowner payment zones as well as a ‘Need to Sell Scheme’ to compensate those affected. While these schemes look to help those affected by the proximity of the rail link route, they also acknowledge that infrastructure projects can have an impact on property value.
It is important to highlight that improved, modern and faster public infrastructure is also an enabler. It can improve social mobility, increase access to green open spaces and other amenities, but also speed up commutes allowing people to spend more time on the important things in life.
Crossrail 2 is an example where house prices have prospered. According to a 2017 report by Knight Frank, house prices along the route within in a 10-15min walk to a station from the period of 2008-2016 out-performed the market by 7% (Knight Frank, 2017).
One of the key elements of infrastructure spending across the next decade will likely be on sources of renewable energy.
The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in 2015 (UNCC, 2021). Coming into force in 2016, the Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
On the 27th June 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels (Gov.uk, 2019). To reach net zero by 2050 significant action will be required across a whole range of industries from construction to food waste, transport to energy production.
At the end of last year, the government announced its ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, totalling a £12billion public investment (Gov.uk, 2020). A large focus of this will be on wind energy generation as the Government hopes to quadruple the output of offshore wind. However, the expansion of the wider renewable energy sector will likely be inevitable to meet the legally binding target.
Whilst some would argue as fickle, what a potential property purchaser sees as ‘value’ can vary from person to person. There is precedent for linking wind turbines to a reduction in property value; in 2014, research undertaken by the London School of Economics concluded that large windfarms can impact property prices by up to 12% (Guardian, 2014).
Our value of space
Whether you agree or not, it does prove the value in providing full transparency into the potential changes in the property surroundings during a property transaction, especially if that value is being based on a view that could be fragile and changeable. Our value of local green space has increased as a result of lockdown and the restrictions placed on movement. Lockdown has made us appreciate and reengage with the green spaces near to us and the value they bring to the places we live. If we don’t have it, one property trend suggests we’re now more willing to move for it.
Whether it’s a short-term response to the pandemic is yet to be seen, however, fuelled by the stamp duty holiday, it has been reported that homeowners have started leaving our urban centres in search of individual open space and the rural idyll. The last 18 months has left many rethinking what is important to us and the value we hold for having access to more space, the countryside and nature.
What is being reported and is it reasonable?
Whether looking at energy or infrastructure projects, during conveyancing what is reported should be grounded and reasonable. Therefore, if something is going to be identified or alerted during a transaction, it needs to be for a good reason.
Crucially, Landmark environmental reports have fine-tuned the search radius of what they identify in the property surrounds for a conveyancer to raise to their clients. Intelligently, an alert is not just based on the potential physical impact of a feature on an area, but also the subject property’s location. For instance, as rural properties are likely to be more sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment when compared to urban (especially as there may be perceived value in a view or open space), we treat these differently.
From a conveyancer standpoint, there is a lot of value in this as you will have confidence that projects are not being identified in environmental reports over cautiously, while also providing robust information for your client.
Both Landmark’s Energy & Infrastructure report and their market leading All-in-One environmental report, RiskView Residential reacts to this, searching to a shorter radius in urban centres so not to identify an unlikely issue.
(HS2, 2021) https://www.hs2.org.uk/why/capacity/
(Knight Frank, 2017) https://content.knightfrank.com/research/520/documents/en/2017-4695.pdf
(GOV.UK, 2021) https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2