Australia’s Scorecard in Urban Sustainability
Climate change is widely accepted as a genuine threat to the global community, while the built environment is recognized as the greatest generator of green-house gases. With that recognition, many of the world’s nations have signed up to the Paris Climate Accord, promising to cut national carbon emissions. Australia’s promise is the boldest; not least because it is the biggest producer of green-house gases, per capita, but also because it has the fastest population growth rate in the OECD. Unsurprisingly, Australia is failing to deliver on its promises. The reasons for this failure are complex, and briefly outlined here. National leadership lacks coherent vision, responsibility has fallen to under-resourced local government, there is over reliance on green-rating tools which fail to adequately guide industry on sustainable practices, while it would appear that only leading corporations have any inclination to ‘go-green’ and do so primarily for vain marketing reasons. Too few developers, builders or occupiers see the benefit; and too little progress is the result.
Index Terms- Sustainability, green buildings, green rating tools, Paris climate accord, Australia