In its Federal Election Policy Statement, the Australian Institute of Architects has called for all political parties to commit to greater investment in carbon-reduction initiatives to accelerate Australia’s transition to a net-zero economy.
Launching the Institute’s Pre-Election Member Survey and the Federal Election Policy Statement campaign A Time for Action, National President Tony Giannone said Australian architects overwhelmingly supported greater action on climate change.
“Increasing the ambition of Australia’s national short-term and long-term carbon-reduction targets must be addressed as a national priority,” Mr Giannone said.
“Our member survey found creating a net-zero future was the most important issue for architects. Almost three out of four respondents (72 per cent) said it was ‘absolutely critical’.
“As custodians of Australia’s built environment, we want to see better investment in sustainable and resilient infrastructure for the long term.”
The Institute conducted a survey of its members in March to determine its policy platform ahead of the 2022 Australian election.
Overwhelming member support for climate action informed the Institute’s policy to push for a more ambitious national climate and energy plan to support the Paris Agreement goal to limit global temperature rises to 1.5oC above pre-Industrial levels.
“This is our decisive decade when our choices will determine the fate of future societies. Australia has to act with future generations in mind,” he said. “Building operations and construction account for about 38% of global emissions. As a profession, we have a shared responsibility to be part of the solution.”
Following the first election Leader’s Debate last night, the Institute has called for parties to detail their proposed future climate action, noting disappointment the crucial issue had yet to be a major feature of the campaign.
The Institute has called for a “turbo-charge” of private investment in climate change initiatives through additional government support for ARENA, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and universities. Likewise, the Institute has previously called for $1 billion in additional funding to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for solutions to decarbonise the built environment and infrastructure.
The Institute’s policy platform also calls for a national resilience policy backed by science, increased funding and support for the construction industry to implement the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, and stricter sustainability requirements in the National Construction Code.
“With government support, the Institute believes we can build a net-zero construction industry by the end of this decade,” Mr Giannone said. “This will provide nationally significant carbon reductions.
“Architects recognise we’re facing a harsher, more extreme environment with more frequent disasters. We need courageous national leadership to confront these challenges and ensure our built environment is designed properly for the future.”
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Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
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