Water Week

EWN Publishing

Sydney City, Parramatta and North Sydney councils, working towards greenhouse gas reductions through tenancy fit-outs of older buildings: $1bn in Climate Change Summit retrofit public buildings fund

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

Businesses were very aware that a deteriorating physical environment was not conducive to growth, said Clover Moore, the Member for Sydney, in the NSW Legislative Assembly on 27 June 2007.

GHG reductions through tenancy fit-outs: Business leaders were shifting to more sustainable and renewable technologies that presented opportunities for a new green economy. Sydney City, together with Parramatta and North Sydney councils, were working with business to deliver greenhouse gas reductions through tenancy fit-outs of older building stock during lease turnovers. These could occur after three years. More than 30 companies – including Multiplex, DTZ Australia, Minter Ellison and Westpac – had joined.

Retrofitting public buildings from global fund: At the Climate Change Summit in New York the C40 group and the Clinton climate initiative announced a $5 billion project to retrofit public buildings to make them more energy efficient. Five global banks each committed $1 billion, which was available immediately to fund this work, with repayments being made from future energy savings guaranteed through four international energy companies. The scale of this project meant that the level of demand created would bring prices down and accelerate the uptake of energy-efficient products and services in city buildings.

Recommit to 40pc energy efficiency target: The City of Sydney would be working with the Clinton climate initiative and the C40 group to ensure that Sydney benefited from this program through its application to City of Sydney properties. The city would like to enter into a partnership with the State to accelerate the greening of other public buildings. If the new apartments were to be prevented from becoming obsolete or requiring expensive retrofits in the future, the State also needed to recommit to the 40 per cent energy efficiency target previously promised for multilevel buildings in the Building Sustainability Index [BASIX].

High-rise apartments require strong action: High-rise apartments produced more greenhouse gases per resident than other dwelling types and they required stronger action. The BASIX was already weakened for multilevel built units by allowing targets to be met with appliances such as clothes dryers and refrigerators. The Australian Conservation Foundation warned that many high-rise blocks would achieve BASIX requirements by providing energy-efficient fridges, which could be replaced at any time and would ultimately fail to save energy.

Bans need lifting for further improvement: In the city, apartments made up 70 per cent of new residential development and were vital to the Government’s urban consolidation policy. Despite this, the City of Sydney was blocked by the State from pursuing stronger targets that would help protect our planet’s future. Moore strongly urged the Government to lift these bans so that councils could achieve the improvements that our communities expected and needed.

Reference: Clover Moore, Member for Sydney, Legislative Assembly, New South Wales, 27 June 2007.

Erisk Net, 27/6/2007

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