Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science

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Certified carbon neutral precincts a breath of fresh air for our cities

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Australian Government’s certification system which recognises carbon neutral businesses, products, services and events will be expanded to include cities, precincts and buildings.

We have listened to requests from the community, cities and business to expand the National Carbon Offset Standard – which enables businesses, products and events to be certified as carbon neutral.

We are establishing an Expert Committee for carbon neutral precincts and cities, and the aim is for Australia to have our first officially certified and operating carbon neutral precinct or city by January 2017.

This is an exciting development. Australia’s cities consistently rank amongst the most liveable in the world – and the Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring this continues.

The committee will also work towards a carbon neutral certification for Australia’s buildings.

The first meeting of the Expert Committee is planned for April 2016 and members will include representatives from big cities, Barangaroo Delivery Authority, the Green Building Council of Australia, the National Australian Built Environment Rating System and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

The Australian Government supports and welcomes actions by individuals, businesses and other groups to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.

According to the International Energy Agency, Australia’s cities account for 80 per cent of the total national energy consumption.

The Government is helping cities to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency by supporting projects through the Emissions Reduction Fund and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The Government is also increasing the use of renewable energy through the Renewable Energy Target and energy efficiency through the National Energy Productivity Plan.

As part of the National Carbon Offset Standard, certified organisations reduce their emissions through using renewable energy and lowering energy use through energy efficiency measures or reducing waste and increasing recycling.

They offset the remaining emissions through the purchase of abatement units, such as for native vegetation restoration.

For more information on the National Carbon Offset Standard, contact ncos@environment.gov.au

(ENDS)

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