The Australian Institute of Architects welcomes the Australian Government’s development of a net zero 2050 plan for the built environment.
Institute National President Stuart Tanner said the announcement from Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen of a specific plan for the built environment was a significant step towards a sustainable future.
“Buildings are a major contributor to global energy emissions, but they can also be a major part of the solution to combat climate change,” Mr Tanner said.
“Decarbonising the construction and operations of our built environment should be a key priority of Australian society, so we are pleased the government has taken this step with a sector-specific plan.”
The World Green Building Council reports that buildings are responsible for about 39 per cent of global energy emissions. This includes 28 per cent from operational emissions and 11 per cent from materials and construction.
Mr Tanner said the Institute looked forward to engaging with Minister Bowen and Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic, as well as the Climate Change Authority, on the sector plan.
The Institute has previously called for policy frameworks – such as within the National Construction Code – to achieve greater energy and resource efficiency and to facilitate innovation in design and procurement.
Further, the Institute has called for incentives for owners and occupants to alter, retrofit and rebuild the current building stock to achieve more sustainable outcomes. This includes phasing out gas use in homes and down-sizing houses.
A survey of members last year found three out of four respondents (72 per cent) said transitioning to a net-zero emissions future was “absolutely critical”.
Mr Tanner said the architecture profession was well placed to oversee the transition to a net zero built environment sector.
“We must act now to ensure a sustainable future for our built environment,” he said.
For interviews, please contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
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