New green building report for councils

Wednesday, 13 June, 2007

A report from ICLEI " Local Governments for Sustainability " Oceania (ICLEI Oceania) and the Building Commission highlights nine key pathways for local government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable buildings.

The report, "Local Government: Accelerating the uptake of sustainable building', was released to coincide with World Environment Day. This year's World Environment Day theme draws attention to the worldwide consequences of climate change and the actions that individuals and communities can take to reduce their global impact.

"Sustainable buildings offer some of the best opportunities for large-scale, cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This report clearly demonstrates how local government can step up their actions in the area of sustainable buildings," Wayne Wescott, ICLEI Oceania's chief executive officer said.

Building Commissioner, Tony Arnel agreed that local government has significant influence in the uptake of sustainable building designs, technologies and practices.

"The report provides an action agenda for local government to play an integral role in the provision of sustainable buildings in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as state and federal governments, the building industry and the private sector," Arnel said.

Arnel said that the level of public concern about greenhouse gas emissions and water conservation would undoubtedly provide a strong impetus for stakeholder collaboration and, importantly, accelerate sustainable buildings.

Cities are responsible for three-quarters of the world's energy consumption, and buildings account for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. ICLEI Oceania's new report is the culmination of research and a workshop that brought together 65 stakeholders from the sustainable buildings sector and local government in Victoria.

World Environment Day 2007 also marks the tenth anniversary of the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Australia Program, part of an international campaign that helps local governments and their communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the environment. There are currently 221 local governments participating in the CCP Australia Program and a significant 8.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent have been abated since the program began in 1997.

The report is available on the ICLEI Oceania website: www.iclei.org/oceania.

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