In our 2022 election platform Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has set out our key recommendations to the Australian Government to create a more sustainable built environment.
Twelve critical steps across four overarching themes to transform Australia’s built environment for the better. From growing our economy and shrinking our emissions, encouraging healthier homes, making our built environment more climate resilient and infrastructure more sustainable, these actions are necessary, practical and achievable.
Australia’s support for the Paris Agreement means that we are committed to decarbonising our economy by 2050. Buildings account for almost a quarter of Australia’s emissions, and present some of the lowest cost – and largely untapped – emissions reduction opportunities. Moreover, the technology already exists today to achieve zero carbon buildings.
While leading property companies have made substantial progress on emissions reduction in the last decade, persistent barriers remain for extending their progress more broadly across the sector. Strong, effective policies and programs, driven by government, would help leverage the opportunities that exist, create regulatory certainty, and provide much needed jobs growth.
The recently released U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report on climate change mitigation, also called for action in government policy. The IPCC couldn't be clearer, the window of opportunity to reduce our climate footprint is closing. It's critical that these twelve steps are progressed, so we can mitigate and prepare for the impacts of climate change, which many of us are already experiencing.
Last year, the world’s emissions increased by six per cent – the single largest annual increase since the world started tracking emissions in 1900, according to the International Energy Agency. We have just a few short years to arrest the most damaging impacts of climate change. In this, the decade of decarbonisation, the next Australian Government has a monumental task ahead. GBCA looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers to progress these important measures.
Recommendation 1: Set the built environment on a trajectory to net zero by 2050 with a comprehensive national plan
Recommendation 2: Make Australia a global leader in low emission building products and materials
Recommendation 3: Scale up what works-expand the Commercial Building Disclosure Scheme
Recommendation 4: Establish a national built environment energy efficiency and emissions training and education agenda
Recommendation 5: Drive circular economy outcomes through government procurement and investment in industry capabilities
Recommendation 6: Differentiate and incentivise sustainable housing in the market by supporting the development of a single, national rating tool
Recommendation 7: Commit to a net zero carbon-ready National Construction Code (NCC) that provides a clear and unequivocal trajectory of increasing minimum requirements to transition the homes we build and renovate to a zero-carbon future
Recommendation 8: Support the use of Green Star Homes to pave the way for adoption of a national rating system for homes and a zero-carbon ready NCC
Recommendation 9: Expand the mandate of the NCC to increase the resilience of our buildings to a range of impacts
Recommendation 10: Identify, develop and share quality data, guidance, case studies and appropriate tools to improve the resilience of our built environment
Recommendation 11: Embed sustainability principles into infrastructure funding and financing to get more value from investments
Recommendation 12: Review and update Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy framework to improve the energy efficiency of all government buildings