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This report asserts that an embedded (or embodied) carbon ‘base case’ should be included in all business cases for infrastructure projects and programs over $100 million in capital cost. This should be mandatory for all such projects, with government retaining the option to ‘compete’ a lower carbon outcome through detailed design and procurement. This would establish a framework to move infrastructure procurement to a Time, Quality and Cost plus Carbon setting.

This proposal has been developed as a discrete policy solution to address the lack of clarity on how the Australian infrastructure sector will reduce the carbon embedded in the vast amounts of steel, concrete and other materials required to deliver the upcoming project pipeline. This proposed reform is targeted specifically at the pre- and early-stages of a project to consider its carbon footprint in construction, rather than an asset’s operational emissions, which are well established through tools like the Design/ As-Built IS Rating Scheme.

This proposal arises out of the rigorous analysis undertaken in Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s report, Decarbonising infrastructure, and is intended to be read in conjunction with that wider body of work.

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