Nation’s climate action capital sets world-leading environmental targets

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury announced the ACT is among world leaders in climate policy, setting a nation-leading target to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 – bringing forward the previous target of 2050 by five years.

“The ACT is committed to tackling climate change by delivering ambitious clean energy and zero net emission targets,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Our new target of achieving zero net emissions by 2045 will lead the nation, and stands among the world’s most progressive jurisdictions in our commitment to delivering real climate action.

“In the coming months I will be introducing legislation into the ACT Legislative Assembly to formalise both interim and final targets to get us to zero net emissions by 2045.

“The new targets will be:

  • 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 (on track to achieve this)
  • 50-60% below 1990 levels by 2025
  • 65-75% below 1990 levels by 2030
  • 90-95% below 1990 levels by 2040
  • net zero emissions by 2045 (previously 2050).

 “We have also commissioned expert economic modelling examining the costs of meeting our new emission reduction targets. It models out to 2030, in line with the 2030 interim target of 65-75% (below 1990 levels).

“It shows we can meet the 65% target at a cost of about $32 per tonne of abatement, which equates to about $5.8 million in 2030. This is reasonable and achievable.

“However, it’s important to note that the modelling shows that our emission reduction plan could even be cost neutral because of the cost savings and co-benefits that emission reduction policies achieve. We are well-placed to respond to future technology and market changes as time progresses.

“The interim targets are being set to send a clear signal to industry and business so they can plan their investments accordingly and capitalise on the opportunities that being a leader and early adopter provides.”

The ACT Government has taken the advice of the ACT Climate Change Council, which considered the level of emission reduction targets required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the latest technological and economic developments.

“Importantly, the targets are achievable using current technology. It will ensure the ACT plays its part in keeping global warming to below 2 degrees.

“The new targets have been set following extensive consultation with the Canberra community over recent months as part of developing the ACT’s next climate strategy.

“Ongoing discussions with stakeholders and the community will help shape climate change policy into the future. When finalised, the new climate policy (2019-2025 Action Plan) will set a pathway of actions towards meeting the first interim target to 2025. 

“Climate change brings risks that will impact every aspect of our society. Scientific evidence tells us there is an urgent need for action on part of our communities, and our Governments, to get the job done.

“Canberra is again showing other cities around the world how climate action can be realised.”