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Net zero plan for Australia’s built environment

The federal government has confirmed that it will develop decarbonisation plans for different sectors – including a specific plan for the built environment.

In its issues paper on setting, tracking and achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets, the Climate Change Authority proposed focusing on sectors as set out in Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: electricity, stationary energy, transport, fugitive emissions, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, waste, and land use, land use change and forestry.

After receiving feedback from industry stakeholders that the built environment warranted special attention, the government has revised the sectors. Speaking at the Clean Energy Summit 2023, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen confirmed that the government will be developing net zero plans for the following sectors:

  • Electricity and energy
  • Industry
  • The built environment
  • Agriculture and land
  • Transport
  • Resources.

The built environment sector plan will be jointly led by Minister Bowen and Minister for Industry Ed Husic, with further advice on sectoral pathways to come from the Climate Change Authority. A focus on the circular economy will be a cross-cutting issue for all sectors.

“The sector plans will feed in to both our Net Zero 2050 plan and strong 2035 targets, which we will lodge in keeping with our Paris commitments,” said Minister Bowen.

“There will be heavy rounds of engagement with the community on each plan. The level and quality of dialogue and collaboration with industries, experts and citizens will set these plans apart from anything that’s been done before.

“This is a shared endeavour: we must work together to do what’s both possible and practical to stop dangerous climate change and realise the economic opportunities of net zero. The end result will be six net zero sectoral plans that are robust, ambitious but achievable, and accepted by the broader community.”

Photo by Pat Whelen

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