Ensuring responsible and sustainable construction for our future built environment

By Caleb Adams

Caleb attended the 2016 Habitat III Summit where he represented Griffith University. Caleb is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering.


Whilst there have been recent advances, and global commitments to address the challenges of climate change, its remains a critical issue. The construction and building industry is one of the biggest global polluters and energy consumers, yet plays a significant role in Australia’s economy, meaning there is potential to achieve significant emissions reductions through activating change within the building and construction industry.

Cultural changes are reflected in the recent advancement of construction and design relevant policy and regulations; which now address environmental sustainability. However, it is arguable that current regulations and guidelines are not assertive enough, leaving companies to choose how sustainability they wish to operate.

Voluntary sustainability assessment programs are achieving positive results as energy efficient and sustainable projects are now being featured in cities across the globe. Only a compliance culture of the construction industry has meant that the use of these tools is limited and dominated by large-scale industry leaders. Through analyzing the success and framework of these programs, recommendations can be drawn on how Australia can ensure our built environment is constructed via responsible and sustainable methods. This research will influence recommendations on policy review and regulation, innovative research, and an internationally collaborative approach to minimising impacts on climate change through the development of our cities.


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Quarterly Access Journal: Julien Rosendahl Contributor

Julien attended the 2013 OECD Forum in Paris where he represented Griffith University. As part of the Global Voices Scholarship, Julien researched Australia’s role in counteracting China’s rising interest in Antarctic landholdings. His research was published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs journal Quarterly Access. You can read his research here or copy the following URL into your browser http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/antarctica-a-blank-canvas-for-protecting-australias-interests-and-reframing-the-rise-of-china/

Quarterly Access Journal: Jacki Molla Contributor

Jacki attended the 2015 Y20 Forum in Istanbul where she represented Griffith University. As part of the Global Voices Scholarship, Jacki researched the global refugee crisis. Her research was published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs journal Quarterly Access. You can read her research here or copy the following URL into your browser http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/addressing-the-global-refugee-crisis-an-opportunity-for-inclusive-growth/

Y20 Delegate Jacki Molla Published in AIIA Quarterly Access Journal

Jacki Molla was the Griffith University representative on the 2015 Global Voices Y20 delegation to Istanbul.  As part of the Global Voices Research Fellowship Jacki undertook a comparative economic analysis of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey in the wake of the global refugee crisis. We are proud to announce Jacki's article was recently published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs Quarterly Access journal.

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The Kyoto mechanisms: How to reconcile CDM and Ji in a new international agreement

Kahil attended the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where he represented Griffith University. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Arts and he recently completed a course on environmental law at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.


The future roles for the Clean Development Mechanism (‘CDM’) and Joint Implementation (‘JI’) within the second Kyoto commitment period, and a future international agreement, is considered. The CDM has played a vital role in delivering climate-related finance and technology transfer to developing nations, incorporating the developing world into the solution for this global issue. However, there are fundamental issues with the mechanism that must be addressed; concepts such as sustainability, additionality and governance need to be reformed and improved. Moreover, the CDM operates as an offsetting mechanism that, without a global emission cap binding on all parties, allows for actual greenhouse gas emission increases. JI offers a solution as to how the CDM’s benefits can be continued under an agreement where parties assume binding caps; it has been significantly undervalued. A future international climate agreement should maintain and extend JI to incorporate the concerns levelled against the CDM, and thereby continue the positive benefits that the CDM has delivered.

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