Buildings can deliver Australia significant reductions in energy costs and emissions: report
The building sector can deliver up to 28 percent of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target, save $20 billion in energy and create healthier, more productive cities if a number of targeted policies are introduced, according to an Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) report.
Findings from the Low Carbon, High Performance report show that buildings account for 23 percent of Australia’s emissions and buildings can achieve zero carbon by 2050 using existing technologies.
In addition to the $20 billion in energy savings, buildings can deliver over half of the national energy productivity target by 2030, the report states, while property companies have demonstrated an improvement in energy performance is possible.
ASBEC president Ken Maher says, “Buildings account for almost a quarter of Australia’s emissions. This sector must be a strong focus if Australia is to meet its international obligations under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.”
As a signatory to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Australia has committed to the global transition to zero net emissions, and to reaching net zero emissions around 2050.
Maher continues, “Our modelling found that without further action, buildings would consume almost half of Australia’s total national carbon budget.”
According to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), Australia consistently tops international tables for green building leadership and now has more than 1000 carbon, green star-rated buildings around the country.
“In addition to the $20 billion in energy savings, buildings can deliver over half of the national energy productivity target by 2030
“Lendlease is working on carbon zero communities, such as Barangaroo South in Sydney. Stockland has reduced the emissions intensity of its office portfolio by 50 percent over the last decade,” GBCA chief executive officer, and ASBEC deputy president, Romilly Madew says.
“Mirvac has slashed its energy bills by $29 million since 2009, and Frasers Property Australia has 1.3 million sqm of Green Star-certified space. This is real leadership.”
The Low Carbon, High Performance report provides the following five policy solutions to drive the transition to a zero-carbon building sector:
- A national plan towards 2050 zero carbon buildings.
- Strong mandatory minimum standards for energy performance of buildings and appliances.
- Targeted incentives and programs, including accelerated depreciation to encourage the uptake of green plant and equipment, stamp duty discounts for the purchase of green homes and properties, and planning incentives.
- Energy market reforms, to remove market distortions that undermine the business case for energy efficiency and distributed generation.
- Enabling data, information, research and education measures.
Property Council of Australia chief executive and ASBEC energy efficiency and emissions task group chair Ken Morrison describes the report as a blueprint for government action.
“Major emissions reduction gains can be made with the property industry, but it requires a focused plan that includes regulation, strong incentives, energy market reform and market information to support transformation,” Morrison says.
Download the Low Carbon, High Performance report from the ASBEC website.