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Decarbonising infrastructure 42.39 MB

Australia needs to decarbonise, and infrastructure has a major role to play in driving us towards a zero-emission future.

Energy contributes over half of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions annually. Electricity generation accounts for a third of our emissions, and energy use from construction and other manufacturing industries make up another 20 per cent. Transport contributes a further 18 per cent, and even more emissions are generated through the construction and operation of community infrastructure like schools, hospitals, and waste facilities.

Australia prides itself on being a global leader in many areas, but with other parts of the world pushing forward in their transition strategies, national leadership in our decarbonisation journey has slipped to laggard status. To date, individual state and territory governments have been driving the nation’s decarbonisation agenda with commitments focused on differing state-level priorities, leading to piecemeal outcomes at the national level. There have been pockets of great progress in our transition, but other areas where we trail significantly.

No country in the world has more sun and wind than Australia, while our technology, finance and professional services expertise is globally sought after. In the energy-hungry, rapidly growing region of the Asia-Pacific, Australia can transform this comparative advantage into an engine for growth, domestically and abroad. We have the chance to become the literal powerhouse of the Asia-Pacific. But this window of opportunity is closing. For the benefit of current and future generations of Australians, we need to act now to ensure this opportunity to build a lasting comparative advantage in energy does not pass us by.

This paper considers a range of different policy mechanisms to transition the infrastructure sector to a zero-emission future rapidly, efficiently and affordably, laying out potential actions by the public and private sectors against some of the biggest emitting forms of infrastructure. However, with the increasingly convergent and dynamic relationships between historically separate infrastructure asset classes, overcoming challenges and unlocking progress towards decarbonisation will require collaboration across the sector.

Related Information

Decarbonising construction https://apo.org.au/node/319240

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