NSW net-zero leadership a welcome step forward

14 Mar 2020

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has welcomed  Stage 1 of the NSW Government’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, saying the strategy combines proven solutions with fresh leadership to capture the potential of a net zero future.

GBCA CEO Davina Rooney said the plan provides a foundation for businesses, consumers and governments to act together to achieve a net-zero emissions future. 

“NSW’s net-zero plan rightly acknowledges that net-zero emissions will not be delivered without collaboration across all market participants. 

“The Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy between the Commonwealth and NSW governments underscores this plan and demonstrates the importance of governments working together to provide confidence for businesses to innovate, seek investment and drive productivity.

“It is a positive, forward looking plan that brings businesses and consumers on the net-zero journey by seeking to capture the jobs and investment opportunities ahead.

“An explicit focus on buildings reflects the considerable opportunity highlighted through this sector: to take advantage of existing technologies while increasing business productivity and driving down energy costs for households. 

“The plan reflects many of the recommendations in the GBCA’s 2019 report with the Property Council of Australia, Every Building Counts: A practical plan for emissions reduction.

“It recognises that medium and large-scale infrastructure projects in NSW offer a significant opportunity to drive uptake of sustainable building materials and energy efficiency technologies. 

“The explicit acknowledgement of Green Star to help deliver a national strategy for net zero embodied carbon through building materials highlights the critical role of industry led innovation to drive supply chain transformation. 

“The GBCA is committed to continuing our collaboration across government to support market-led solutions.

“To that end it is essential that in its delivery this plan also supports ambitious targets for buildings across the lifecycle; in design, as built and in operations, to maximise the benefits of new technologies at the lowest possible cost. 

“Our Green Star for New Buildings rating tool, soon to be released under the Green Star Future Focus Program provides a roadmap for buildings to realise the government’s commitments under this net-zero plan.

“The focus in the plan on providing a foundation for further investment is far-sighted. The establishment of a Green Investment Strategy reflects an increasing acknowledgement of the investor drivers seeing enormous growth in green bonds across a range of asset classes with benefits for emissions reduction, biodiversity and renewable energy investment. It will help spur local markets delivering sustainable assets while broadening the economic base and support sustainable economic development.

“We support the Government’s ambition to grow the market for sustainable building materials, its commitment to use Green Star to achieve net zero embodied carbon in building materials, as well as driving greater transparency through the expansion of NABERS. The Government’s commitment to support new buildings that are electric vehicle ready is also welcome and aligned with the GBCA’s recommendations in our Carbon Positive Roadmap.

“Through this plan the NSW Government is leading by example, and we welcome this explicit focus through their promise to build on the Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) to deliver reduced emissions through their own procurement.  

“Alongside this, the NSW Government has committed to holding themselves to account through detailed reporting in the years ahead, providing the transparency that will help to measure progress and build credibility for the plan.

“This plan provides an important framework for industry and we look forward to working with the NSW Government on the detailed implementation that we know will help build productivity, generate new jobs and reduce emissions through 2030 and beyond.”