A survey of Members of the Australian Institute of Architects have found that the majority of architects see climate change and reducing emissions as a critical issue in the upcoming federal election.
“This is our decisive decade where our choices will determine the fate of future societies. Australia must act with future generations in mind,” said the Institute’s National President, Tony Giannone. “The operation and construction of buildings accounts for approximately 38% of global emissions. As a profession, we have a shared responsibility to be part of the solution.
The membership survey was conducted in March to help the Institute formulate its policy platform ahead of the elections. Action on climate change was overwhelmingly supported by survey respondents, with 72% saying it was “absolutely essential”.
“Increasing the ambition of Australia’s short- and long-term national carbon reduction targets must be seen as a national priority,” said Giannone.
“As stewards of Australia’s built environment, we want to see better investment in long-term sustainable and resilient infrastructure.”
The Institute calls for investments in climate change mitigation initiatives to be accelerated, with additional support for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and universities. The Institute has also previously called for $1 billion in funding to help decarbonize the built environment and infrastructure.
A National Resilience Policy and stricter sustainability requirements in the National Building Code are also measures called for in the Institute’s policy platform.
“Architects recognize that we face a harsher and more extreme environment with more frequent disasters. We need courageous national leadership to address these challenges and ensure that our built environment is properly designed for the future,” said Giannone.
“With government support, the Institute believes we can build a net-zero construction industry by the end of this decade.”