The Property Council of Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on the Sustainable Finance Strategy consultation paper.
The Property Council supports the development of a comprehensive framework for reducing barriers to investment into sustainable activities across the Australian economy. Real estate is a major asset class accounting for two-thirds of global real assets and faces both physical and transition climate risks.
At the same time, buildings account for over 50% of electricity use in Australia and almost a quarter of its emissions. Reducing the risks facing our built assets and their impact on our environment requires large-scale transformation, backed by the increased investments and funding options in Australia.
The scale of investment needed to realise this transformation is only available through access to global sources of capital. A cohesive Sustainable Finance Strategy has the power to help provide certainty to industry and drive the transition to zero carbon- ready homes and buildings.
The Property Council’s key priorities in relation to the development of a national Sustainable Finance Strategy are set out below.
1. Provide clarity on how the Strategy will support delivery of targets set out in the Net Zero Plan for the built environment sector
2. Safeguard access to sustainability-linked capital available through existing sector based, market accepted rating tools and standards
3. Ensure there is flexibility to recognise the dynamic nature of market demands to access sustainability-linked capital
4. Establish ambitions for sustainable finance beyond emissions abatement
5. Provide further information about the intended scope of policy relating to the labelling of sustainability-linked finance
6. Prioritise international alignment and recognition of Australia’s sustainable finance taxonomy across jurisdictions
7. Include greater consideration of the skills and competencies that will be required across the economy to implement the Strategy
8. Provide further opportunities for detailed industry engagement on each policy proposed for inclusion in the strategy