Property industry launches plan to reduce carbon emissions

Property industry launches plan to reduce carbon emissions

1 November 2019

The Property Council of Australia and Green Building Council of Australia have launched a sweeping plan to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment to zero by 2050, including the use of federal financial incentives to drive energy efficiency.

The plan — Every building counts: A practical plan for emissions reduction — was launched this week by the Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon Angus Taylor MP.

The package includes 75 recommendations to federal, state and territory and local governments, designed to transform Australia’s built environment and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Buildings currently account for over 50% of Australia’s electricity use and almost a quarter of our carbon emissions.

The recommendations cover residential, commercial and public buildings, both existing and new, and include proposals to: introduce a single national rating for the energy performance of homes; leverage the Climate Solutions Fund and other Government policies like City Deals to drive emissions abatement; incentivise high performance with cut-through tax incentives; and expand the mandate of the Energy Security Board to balance demand and supply side policy, driving energy productivity.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the recommendations are put forward in a way that would enable immediate implementation by the Australian Government.

“Our Government has committed Australia to the Paris Agreement and set us on a pathway towards a net zero economy by mid-century,” Mr Morrison said.

“Buildings are a quarter of our emissions and consume over half of our electricity so we need a plan to guide this transition for all of the built environment.

“Energy efficiency has been the forgotten part of energy policy for the past decade as governments have debated energy supply.

“With the right policy frameworks in place, we can minimise the costs of a transition to net zero emissions and create economic opportunities across all parts of industry, from sole traders and homeowners to large businesses.”

GBCA CEO Davina Rooney said the solutions identified in this toolkit have been tested and will drive real improvement across the sector.

“Australian property companies are already global leaders on sustainability,” Ms Rooney said.

“We urge the Federal Government to seize the unique opportunity the built environment offers to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in highly cost effective ways that will also stimulate the economy.

“Low carbon, high-performance buildings are better places to live, work and play and all of the policies we’ve recommended have a proven track record.

“As Australia heads towards a low emissions economy, governments must provide a clear pathway of policies that give certainty to industry and create economic opportunities for Australian businesses.”

The toolkit was informed by an international review of effective policies for reducing emissions in buildings.

In shaping the toolkit’s recommendations, various policy options were assessed against three key criteria; Impact: Emissions reduction opportunity; Ease of implementation: Lack of barriers or challenges for adoption; and Cost effectiveness: Lowered cost of transition for industry.