The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has joined forces with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) to deliver on the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and tackle climate change.
The Advancing Net Zero project will see the WorldGBC and green building councils in countries with some of the fastest growth trajectories for construction launch national ‘net zero’ building certification and training programs.
The GBCA joins GBCs from Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden, and other not-for-profit organisations, in committing to national net zero or carbon zero certification.
The pledge to ensure global warming remains below the critical 2°C mark must be followed with real-world action, according to GBCA CEO Romilly Madew.
“Our built environment presents some of the cheapest and fastest opportunities to reduce our emissions – and we can do this with proven and readily-available technologies,” she said.
“The property and construction industry understands how to deliver low-carbon assets – all those Green Star ratings are positive proof. Our next challenge is to move beyond ‘low carbon’ to ‘no carbon’.”
Last year, the GBCA committed to recognise buildings, fitouts, and communities that achieve ‘net zero’, or deliver positive outcomes in terms of energy, carbon or water. In the past six months, it has worked with the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and the Department of the Environment to adapt the Australian Government’s Carbon Neutral Standard for buildings and precincts.
Ms Madew said this is the next step to bring GBCA’s work and commitments to the international stage.
“Our participation in the Advancing Net Zero project reinforces Australia’s international sustainability leadership, and strengthens international collaboration as we work towards a zero carbon future worldwide,” Ms Madew added.
In addition to the recognition of net zero and carbon positive buildings, the GBCA is also developing a new curriculum to educate professionals on the design and delivery of net zero buildings.
The WorldGBC’s long-term targets include:
- All new buildings and major renovations are net zero in 2030, and no buildings are built below net zero standards beyond 2030
- 100 per cent of buildings are net zero by 2050
- 75,000 professionals are trained on net zero building by 2030, and 300,000 professionals by 2050
- All GBCs that operate certification schemes have net zero rating tools in place by 2030.