Infrastructure will play a critical role in supporting Australia’s transition to net zero emissions, according to a new paper released today.
Infrastructure contributes around 70 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Issues Paper: Reshaping Infrastructure for a net zero emissions future.
The paper is published as part of a partnership between Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), Climateworks Australia and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).
It finds most infrastructure built today will still be operating in 2050, by which point, all Australian states and territories are aiming to be at net zero emissions.
Mr Michael Li, Senior Project Manager (Cities & Policy) at Climateworks Australia says infrastructure influences 15 per cent of Australia’s emissions directly and 55 per cent indirectly.
Direct emissions occur across the life-cycle including in procurement, construction, operations and decommissioning.Michael Li, Senior project manager (Cities and Policy) Climateworks Australia.
“But the majority of emissions are associated with the end use of assets and the activities they enable,” said Mr Li. “For example, providing public transport infrastructure close to population centres can reduce local road transport emissions.”
The Issues Paper will be a focal point for conversations among infrastructure stakeholders around reshaping the conception, planning, design, construction and operation of infrastructure for a net zero emissions future.
Using the paper as a starting point, ISCA, Climateworks and ASBEC aim to work collaboratively with those responsible for planning, assessing, funding and delivering infrastructure.
Ms Suzanne Toumbourou, Executive Director of ASBEC, says that preparing infrastructure for a net zero emissions future is a shared responsibility between all stakeholders across the infrastructure lifecycle, including infrastructure advisors, investors, construction companies and operators.
The report highlights that infrastructure is also facing pressure from public and private sectors to prepare for net zero emissions.
“In addition to state and territory commitments, private investors are increasingly aligning their portfolios with net zero emissions,” says Ainsley Simpson, CEO of ISCA.
ISCA, Climateworks and ASBEC will be actively engaging with infrastructure sector individuals and organisations and inviting them to this important conversation.
“We invite stakeholders from across the infrastructure sector to collaborate and participate in solutions-focused discussions that are essential to reshaping infrastructure for a net zero emissions future,” says Ms Simpson.
Stakeholders who wish to participate in the conversation throughout 2020 and beyond are also invited to reach out directly to ISCA, Climateworks and ASBEC for updates.
The Issues Paper: Reshaping Infrastructure for a net zero emissions future was developed with the support of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Queensland Government.