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Climate pact a critical step on the low-carbon pathway

The historic Paris climate agreement presents an unparalleled opportunity for the built environment industry, says the nation’s green building authority.

“We applaud the commitment of the nearly 200 nations who have signed up to the Paris climate agreement, and who have pledged to ensure global warming remains below the critical two degrees Celsius mark,” says the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA’s) Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.

“This agreement ushers in a new era – and it’s critical that the role of buildings in achieving deep emissions cuts is recognised.

“Our buildings present some of the cheapest and fastest opportunities to reduce our emissions – and we can do this with proven and readily-available technologies.

“The inaugural COP Buildings Day, held on 3 December, recognised the role buildings play in helping nations meet their ambitious targets.

“Nationally, the GBCA is keen to work with our three tiers of government and industry to ensure the built environment can meet its emissions reduction potential. This demands a range of coordinated, complementary measures which target buildings and encourage innovative precinct-scale energy solutions.

“Our industry has a well-deserved reputation as a world leader in sustainability – and we’ve topped the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for five years running.

“We have more than 1000 Green Star certified projects around Australia. These 1000 Green Star certifications save the equivalent of 128,000 average households’ electricity use, and 625,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each and every year. This is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from our roads.

“Our industry understands how to deliver low-carbon buildings. Now we need the policies and the funding platforms to help us do it on a much larger scale.

“The GBCA’s challenge next year is to help industry move beyond ‘low carbon’ to ‘no carbon’. We will be working on our net zero label which will recognise and reward projects that make a positive contribution to the environment,” Ms Madew concludes.