On the countdown

15 Dec 2023

The countdown to Christmas is on, but we've been tallying the policy success stories all year since the launch of Every Building Counts.

This week, together with our partners at the Property Council, Energy Efficiency Council and ASBEC, we launched the third part to Every Building Counts. This presents 40 policy recommendations to state governments and a roadmap towards a greener, healthier, more equitable built environment.

The Every Building Counts agenda has kept us busy all year. We launched the federal policy plan in April with the help of Senator Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, and followed that up with the local policy plan in October.

Sensible policies that resonate with governments get results. We can draw a direct line between Every Building Counts and the Australian Government’s new policy which mandates a minimum 4 Star Green Star certification for new Commonwealth office space.

The combined $69 billion in savings from energy efficiency and electrification, not to mention the 163 million metric tonnes of avoided carbon by 2050, captured the mainstream media’s attention too. (And we knew we’d gained traction when the shock jocks started talking.)

We’ve kept policy specialists across all tiers of government busy rewriting frameworks and guidelines. In this issue of Green Building Voice we provide a rundown of the policy developments that have evolved from Every Building Counts in 2023.

As a member of the World Green Building Council, the GBCA’s voice was represented at the recent COP28 climate talks. The eleventh-hour deal to "transition away from fossil fuels" represents real progress, as it is the first time in three decades of climate summits that nations have agreed to move away from the products that account for around 80% of global energy use.

The clarion call for Australian policymakers from COP28 is this: accelerate our decarbonisation efforts now because other countries are ahead of the curve and will reap the rewards.

Some governments have already heard that call loud and clear. The Victorian Government updated its Gas Substitution Roadmap this week with more ambitious policies and generous incentives to support the state’s just transition. Victoria, the nation’s largest user of fossil gas, now has a plan to electrify the two million Victorian homes and businesses currently connected to the gas network to reap the rewards of healthier, more efficient, all-electric buildings.

We urge others to make 2024 their year to drive sustainability at speed and scale. Every Building Counts is the place to start, but we have a treasure trove of guides on everything from electrification to upfront carbon if you want a little light reading over the holidays.

On behalf of the team at the Green Building Council of Australia, I wish everyone in the sustainable building ecosystem a relaxing and refreshing Christmas break. If there’s one last ask before the festivities are in full swing, it is to please book your ticket to TRANSFORM 2024. March will be with us in the blink of an eye, and we don’t want anyone to miss out on our industry’s best connector. We’ll be counting down the days until we see you there.