call us

Emissions Reductions Green Paper Published


What Is It?

Released on Friday 20th December 2013, it is the vision of Environment Minister Greg Hunt to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions to five percent below levels measured in the year 2000 by 2020 and to review government policy in 2015 regarding international commitments. Through the Direct Action Fund, it makes available money that businesses can apply to in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Australia is committed to putting itself at the forefront of tackling climate change in the developed world and many have welcomed the Green Paper proposals. Hunt especially has been concerned about the impact of climate change in Australia and the problems associated with increased bush fires over the last few years. The carbon tax which was initially put in place will be scrapped as of 1st July 2014 when the Emissions Reduction Fund commences.


What Will it Achieve?

The program is part of Australia’s Direct Action Plan and makes available an annual fund that businesses can apply to in order to help them effectively and efficiently achieve a net reduction in their carbon emissions. The availability of the fund will help to alleviate some of the concerns about what effect an aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions might have on Australian business both nationally and internationally. We need to stay competitive while the global economy recovers.

For its supporters, the fund is the best Christmas present they could ever have received from the government – and that says a lot about not just the importance of the programme for tackling carbon emissions, but to what extent the fund is even necessary to help to achieve the targets.

Emissions are already down (reduced from 0.8kgCO2-e to 0.4kgCO2-e between 1990 and 2013), but in the national and global fight against tackling the effects of climate change, there is still a way to go. It is expected that the fund and the paper will continue this downward trend while assisting the Australian economy to continue to grow.


What It Means for NABERS

There is still a lot of potential to reduce the emissions of existing buildings and still scope to improve the design of newer buildings in order to reduce emissions. The present NABERS system could help to facilitate the target of carbon emission reduction especially for older buildings that did not have energy or waste efficiency worked in as key factors in their construction.

Despite the continued success of the NABERS system, commercial buildings still account for 53Mt of CO2 every year, approximately 9.4% of the country’s emissions and 7.2% of the country’s total energy consumption. It is not difficult to see the importance of what the NABERS system has already achieved or what it might achieve or be expected to contribute to tackling this problem. Ausnviro expertise is in NABERS and BEEC for our country’s office spaces; this type of commercial property accounts for 25% of all commercial power consumption in Australia.

There are many systems in place to help residential and commercial properties reduce their carbon emissions but NABERS is the only nationally recognised program for tackling the problems presented in the commercial sector. It is expected that a lot of the annual fund will be allocated to the high-end properties sector due to its large contribution to Australia’s carbon emissions.