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Building is the key to ACT reaching its greenhouse gas targets

17 March, 2009

Australia's leading green building organisation has told the ACT Legislative Assembly that improving energy efficiency in buildings is the key to reaching greenhouse gas targets.

The Green Building Council of Australia's (GBCA's) ACT State Manager, Jeff House, recently gave evidence to the ACT Legislative Assembly's Climate Change Committee inquiry into ACT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets.

"Energy use in Australia's commercial and residential buildings account for around 23 per cent of the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year," House said.

"In fact, the United Nations has identified buildings as the single largest opportunity for greenhouse gas abatement, outstripping the industry, energy and transport sectors combined.

"This makes the built environment a very significant component in the overall effort to reduce our greenhouse emissions and address climate change."

Targets for reducing the ACT's emissions are vital and the Green Building Council of Australia welcomes the ACT Government's move to set legislated and binding targets.

"However, while targets provide policy makers and the wider community with an objective and focus, the most pressing need is for policy and programmes that achieve reductions right now. We simply cannot wait for a target to be set before acting to reduce our emissions,"House said.

"The ACT has taken some steps towards emissions reduction, but much more needs to be done and time is not on our side. Fortunately, experience both interstate and overseas provides the ACT with many successful examples and there is no shortage of community support for taking action.

"The solutions exist. Widespread community support is in abundance. The political will is there. It's now time to act," House concluded.

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