ACT commits to zero emissions by 2050

Released 03/05/2016

Legislation introduced by Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Simon Corbell today will bring forward the target for net zero carbon emissions in the ACT to 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement and adopts interim targets to actively measure the territory’s progress towards zero emissions,.

Mr Corbell said the legislation, which also propels the ACT Government’s renewable energy target to 100% by 2020, would place the ACT’s climate commitments among the most advanced nations and cities globally. 

“Changing our net zero emissions target to 2050 is an important measure as it ensures that the ACT aligns with targets set out in the Paris Agreement last year and signed by Australia last month,” Mr Corbell said.

By achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the ACT will be conforming to commitments required to achieve the aim of the Paris Agreement, which aims to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“Today’s move will allow the ACT to secure 100% renewable energy for Canberrans by 2020, cementing our leadership nationally and around the world as a forward thinking, sustainable city,” Mr Corbell said.

“This legislation is momentous for the ACT and takes advantage of favourable market conditions, where we have so far achieved the lowest cost for renewable energy seen in Australia.

“A 2020 date moves the ACT to first among global regions with renewable energy targets reporting under the international initiative of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

 “This government’s innovative reverse auction process has driven down the price of wind and solar energy to record lows.

“In 2015, the Chief Minister announced the ACT Government’s intention to strive for 100% renewable energy supply by 2025, however, our analysis shows we can achieve this five years sooner than initially thought and cheaper than the cost per household originally anticipated to achieve 90% renewable energy by 2020,” Mr Corbell said.

“The ACT also continues to attract renewable energy businesses to the Territory, creating new training programs, research opportunities and jobs, and growing a more robust, diverse and vibrant ACT economy. Already$400 million in direct local industry developments have been secured.”

Renewable energy companies, such as Neoen, are establishing the Asia-Pacific headquarters in the ACT, while our renewable energy initiatives are expanding the commercial opportunities of local companies such as Windlab and RepositPower.  Over the past five years, renewable energy jobs have grown six times faster in the ACT than any other jurisdiction in the country and twelve times faster than the national average.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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