Industry groups have welcomed the NSW Government’s Net Zero Plan which will deliver a 35% cut in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
The implementation of the Net Zero Plan, together with the NSW Electricity Strategy, will result in more than $11.6 billion of new investment for NSW, including $7 billion in regional NSW.
NSW Energy and Environment Minister, Matt Kean, said it will support the creation of almost 2,400 new jobs including 1,700 jobs in regional areas.
Highlights of the plan include $450 million over 10 years to support an Emissions Intensity Reduction Program which includes rolling out cutting edge low carbon technologies in sectors where its harder to reduce emissions.
Kean said there will be more funding for Energy Efficiency Programs to help businesses modernise their plants and update equipment.
Other measures include strategic investments in hydrogen, the expansion of building rating programs and reducing embodied carbon in building products.
Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) CEO, Luke Menzel, said Kean has thrown down the gauntlet to his ministerial colleagues around the country.
“Every Australian state has set a goal of hitting net zero emissions by 2050. However, the NSW Government is the first with a detailed plan for what they are going to do, right now, to begin driving this economic transformation,” Menzel said.
He said the Government’s plan did two crucial things.
“In the short term, it scales up deployment of cost-effective technology that immediately cuts carbon and energy costs for families and businesses,” Menzel said.
“However, it also has an eye to the future, supporting industry to gain experience with new ways of operating – like electrifying manufacturing processes – that will become crucial to emissions reduction efforts later this decade.”
Green Building Council of Australia CEO, Davina Rooney, said it is a positive, forward looking plan that brings businesses and consumers on the net-zero journey by seeking to capture the jobs and investment opportunities ahead.
“An explicit focus on buildings reflects the considerable opportunity highlighted through this sector: to take advantage of existing technologies while increasing business productivity and driving down energy costs for households,” Rooney said.
“Our Green Star for New Buildings rating tool, soon to be released under the Green Star Future Focus Program provides a roadmap for buildings to realise the government’s commitments under this net-zero plan.”
The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) executive director, Suzanne Toumbourou, said the plan offers a bright vision amid the current pall.
She said the NSW Government has recognised the importance of the built environment in reaching a bold emissions target, by prioritising measures such as the NABERS rating scheme.
The government will expand the scheme to major building types including schools, retirement living, industrial warehouses, retail tenancies, and supermarkets.
The NSW government will also embed sustainable building material standards and targets into the design and construction of major publicly funded infrastructure projects.