The Global View

Aussies give $90m for green building, $150m for clean coal

australia2.jpgThe Aussies put out their latest federal budget last week and, in between ringfencing the necessary cash to ensure the canonisation of pop pixie and national treasure ™ Kylie Minogue and an adequate supply of rope for the tying down of the country’s kangaroos, sport, there’s been an Uluru-sized windfall for the green building trade.

Assuming Uluru is roughly the same size as $90 million in Aussie currency, naturally.

The $90 million will go under the name of the Green Building Fund, and the Aussie government will use all that lovely lucre for “energy-efficient retro-fitting of existing buildings and support for training initiatives to improve the skills of building operators”.

Here’s more from Kevin Rudd and co:

The Fund will help Australian businesses implement cost-saving energy-efficiency measures by subsidising 50 per cent of the cost, through offset payments for energy efficiency aspects of retro-fitting and retro-commissioning existing commercial office buildings. Commonwealth funding per building will be up to a maximum of $200,000, with priority given to large buildings of more than 5,000 square metres.

The program will also help industry associations and other non-government organisations enhance building operator training and develop energy-efficient operating and maintenance advisory guides.

This approach will provide incentives to building owners to include improved energy efficiency in retro-fitting of their buildings. It will also provide training and support for building operators to help ensure these buildings operate as efficiently as possible.

And that’s just the start of it. Here’s the rest of the budget’s green pledges:

  • $500 million over eight years for projects that accelerate the development and deployment of clean coal and low emissions technologies;
  • $500 million over six years to support the new Renewable Energy Target and accelerate the development and commercialisation of renewable technologies in Australia
  • $150 million over four years to support the development of clean energy technologies in Australia.

Adapting to climate change will affect all parts of our community. For families, the Government will allocate $300 million over five years through the Green Loans program to help with the costs of installing energy efficient technologies.

The Government will provide $240 million over four years to the Clean Business Australia program to help businesses adapt to a low-carbon economy.

To further reduce pollution, and promote the sustainability of Australian car manufacturers, the Government will provide $500 million over five years from 2011-12 to encourage the development of low-emissions vehicles.

The Government is committed to tackling Australia’s water crisis. The new $12.9 billion ten-year national water policy framework, Water for the Future, will bring a strategic and coordinated approach to Australia’s urban and rural water challenges.

In addition, the Government is refocusing natural resource management on national priorities and improved environmental outcomes. We will provide $2.2 billion over five years for the Caring for our Country program – an integrated approach to natural resource management that will rehabilitate, conserve and support our ecosystems.