Energy standards in Australia’s National Construction Code must be urgently upgraded if new buildings are to be fit and ready for a zero carbon future, according to a new report Built to Perform, prepared by ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council. The report shows that setting stronger energy standards for new buildings in the Code could, between now and 2050, reduce energy bills by up to $27 billion, cut energy network costs by up to $7 billion and deliver at least 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings.
On the back of global trends, media interest and growing consumer awareness at home, Australia’s electric vehicle industry grew slightly last year, according to this new report, released by the Electric Vehicle Council and ClimateWorks Australia. But this second ‘State of electric vehicles’ report also notes Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world and there are several opportunities to improve uptake, including a supportive policy environment through regulatory, financial and non-financial policies and incentives; and the introduction of light vehicle CO2 emissions standards (over 80 per cent of the world auto market already has such standards; Australia is one of few developed countries that does not). It also notes government at all levels could use their greater purchasing power to encourage broader uptake of EVs.
Plug & Play 2 - Enabling distributed generation through effective grid connection standards [Full Report] [PDF 370.02 KB]
Energy sector experts predict that, going forward, Australia’s electricity network will rely less on large centralised electricity generation as more individuals and businesses install renewable generation on their own premises. For this to happen, the network access requirements that customers must meet to connect their equipment to the grid must be fair and effective. Building on our first report, this new report, Plug & Play - Enabling distributed generation through effective grid connection standards, makes recommendations to improve transparency, oversight and representation of customer interests in network access requirements.
Plug & Play 2 - Enabling distributed generation through effective grid connection standards [Executive Summary] [PDF 43.24 KB]
A two-page summary of the second report from the Plug & Play project.
How developing countries can prosper in a rapidly decarbonising world - Pathways to Prosperity [PDF 2.92 MB]
'Pathways to Prosperity - Achieving lowest emissions development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, is a new work program to share learnings and build capacity across our regional neighbours, building on the proven ‘Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050 ’ approach. The program seeks to support capacity building in up to 10 developing countries across the Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands region, delivered through a partnership approach. The program challenges the current development paradigm by demonstrating that rapid development can be achieved without significantly increasing emissions, and that this decoupling gives developing countries the best chance to achieve prosperity in a rapidly decarbonising world.
The Bottom Line – household impacts of delaying improved energy requirements in the Building Code [PDF 3.72 MB]
Australia has the potential to strengthen residential energy standards in the Building Code and cut heating and cooling energy use by up to 51 per cent, according to a new report released today by ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).
The ClimateWorks and ASBEC report highlights that energy requirements in the Code were last updated in 2010 and are next due to be updated in 2019, which is proposed to include improvements to the requirements for housing. These are a good start, but there is no proposal to strengthen the required level of energy efficiency for homes. The report stresses that by failing to act now, we will be building to 2010 standards all the way to 2022, locking in higher emissions and energy costs.
However, implementing these changes now could deliver Australians more comfortable homes plus savings of up to $150 per household a year on energy bills, more than offsetting additional capital costs. Changes could also cut emissions by around 10.8 million tonnes to 2050 - the same amount Loy Yang B coal-fired power station emits annually - and reduce stress on the electricity grid.
The detailed methodology, numbers and results presented in The Bottom Line report are underpinned by analysis set out in the Technical Report, which is available here.
The Bottom Line – Household Impacts of Delaying Improved Energy Requirements in the Building Code (Summary) [PDF 125.49 KB]
A one-page summary of The Bottom Line report, prepared by ClimateWorks Australia for the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).
Private transport is likely to be markedly different in the years ahead, driven by a number of technological disruptors currently under development such as battery driven, autonomous (driverless) vehicles and the rapid advancement of care-share and ride-share vehicles.
Predictions are that these disruptions will lead to massive changes in the global vehicle industry, government regulation, and even urban design of our cities by as soon as 2030, yet little research to prepare for how these changes will be met and accepted by users and society generally.
This report by ClimateWorks Australia is one chapter of a broader project by a collaboration of Monash Research partners. It was developed to examine current knowledge and identify gaps in research we need to address if we are to better understand the challenges and opportunities that future transport may present.
Australia is facing a gas crisis due to a mismatch between domestic supply and demand in the east coast market, driven by rapid growth in the LNG export market and the absence of a comprehensive national energy policy. The resulting high energy prices and unfavourable contract conditions have wide-ranging impacts for the Australian economy, particularly for industries reliant on gas. Without any changes, gas prices could continue to rise, leading to negative impacts on industry profitability – potentially leading to closures and job losses. This creates big risks for Australia.
Fortunately, there is a big solution: Demand side improvements, including energy efficiency and switching from gas to alternative low carbon energy sources. This has been largely overlooked in discussions on the gas crisis to date.
ClimateWorks is proud to share our latest impact report, titled 'Building Momentum'. It covers many of our key achievements over the 2016-2017 financial year, which contributed to forward momentum towards our 'net zero emissions by 2050' future. As the report shows, ClimateWorks continues to deliver impact both through collaborative projects and our own initiatives.
Taking the long view - Why a long term approach for the developing world is critical to achieving sustainable development goals and climate safety [PDF 3.52 MB]
Developing countries have much to gain, and potentially much to lose, in the world’s rapid transition towards net zero emissions.
‘Taking the Long View’ argues that not only is decarbonisation (or avoided growth in emissions) possible for developing countries, it is in fact essential for the achievement of other sustainable development goals. The significant adjustments required - policy, capacity, governance and financial - are complex and difficult, yet they must be a priority if countries are to achieve sustained economic growth, social development outcomes, and the environmental stability that is foundational to these two outcomes.
Joint Submission to the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions: Proposed Fuel Efficiency Standard for Light Vehicles [PDF 827.43 KB]
A joint submission by ClimateWorks Australia and Future Climate Australia to the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions, illustrating that improving light vehicle fuel efficiency will help deliver Australia’s international climate commitments, improve air quality, reduce health impacts and deliver significant financial savings to the Australian economy.