Seven private sector peak bodies and three federal agencies today announced the launch of Infrastructure Net Zero as a joint initiative to co-ordinate, collaborate and report on Australian infrastructure’s pathway to net zero. This collaboration recognises the shared responsibility of decarbonisation and the opportunity to create an aligned and effective use of collective time, resources, and expertise to accelerate the highest-priority initiatives to drive lasting policy change and industry innovation.
The launch was marked by a keynote speech from the Honourable Catherine King MP, Minister for Industry, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, further dialogue with Nicole Lockwood, independent Chair of Infrastructure Net Zero and an introduction to the Initiative’s initial work plan and call to action by Ainsley Simpson, CEO of Infrastructure Sustainability Council as convener.
Framing both the drivers and Infrastructure Net Zero’s response Nicole Lockwood, said: “Infrastructure embodies, consumes and enables 70% of Australia’s carbon footprint. The tightened targets for 2030 and 2050, the huge pipeline of new projects and the need to adapt to increasing climate shocks have brewed the perfect storm. The time for decisive action is now. Infrastructure Net Zero will help the whole sector go further and faster – together.”
Minister King said: “Today’s announcement is yet another demonstration of the Albanese Government’s commitment to work with industry and across governments to ensure Australia’s transport and transport infrastructure sectors play their part on the path to net zero emissions – in a sustainable way that supports communities. This builds on the recent decision by Infrastructure and Transport Ministers to establish the new Infrastructure Decarbonisation Working Group, which will explore ways to reduce embodied emissions in transport infrastructure, while strengthening the global competitiveness of Australia’s infrastructure and transport sectors.”
The initiative is led by a Steering Committee (SteerCo) comprising the ten founders:
- Australian Constructors Association
- Green Building Council of Australia
- Australasian Railways Association
- Infrastructure Australia
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation
- Infrastructure Partnerships Australia
- Consult Australia
- Infrastructure Sustainability Council
- Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
- Roads Australia
The SteerCo provides strategic direction over the work plan that initially comprises four work streams addressing priority issues common to all the major infrastructure sub-sectors:
- Defining net zero for infrastructure – outlining the guiding principles for decarbonising the sector
- Public /private sector alignment – cross-sectoral engagement for practical policy and regulation
- Uplifting capability in the supply chain – upskilling the private sector to continuously improve and innovate
- Procurement for net zero – aligning procurement processes to effectively cascade across the supply chain
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, and Infrastructure Australia delivered an update. This was followed by a facilitated discussion on the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments’ new policies and initiatives for decarbonising transport infrastructure.
“We look forward to working together with stakeholders from every part of the sector to accelerate the pathways to net zero and accelerate action on the infrastructure which enables our nation to thrive,” said Ainsley Simpson, CEO of Infrastructure Sustainability Council.