Emissions and mitigation

In October 2010, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed legislation for the introduction of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reductions targets in the country. The Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010, updated in April 2016 establishes emissions reduction targets for the ACT of:

  • zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • peaking per capita emissions by 2013
  • 40% reduction of 1990 emission levels by 2020

This establishes the Renewable Energy Target of 100% by 2020

In addition, the legislation:

  • mandates regular reporting to the Legislative Assembly on the ACT's greenhouse gas emissions
  • establishes a Climate Change Council to provide independent advice on climate change issues as they affect business and the wider community.

The legislation marked its 5th year of operations in November 2015 and underwent a review. The review checked to see if the Act was operating effectively, and if it was aligned with the current policy context both nationally and internationally. The principal target was amended from zero net emissions by 2060 to 2050, as given above.

Media release: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets adopted.

The review can be read here: Review of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reductions Act 2010

It has been estimated that the ACT needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 2,200 kt CO2-e, roughly half of its current level of emission, to achieve the ACT’s 2020 target.

ACT emissions trajectory

AP2 - A new climate change strategy and action plan for the Australian Capital Territory

The ACT's climate change strategy and action plan, AP2, sets out a clear strategy for the Territory to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets and become a sustainable and carbon neutral community. It is driven by our commitment, as a community, to address climate change and an understanding that we, as a community working together, can make a small but positive contribution to the global climate change mitigation effort.Action Plan 2 cover

The ACT Government has developed a sectoral approach to identifying and targeting emission reductions across the ACT community, which is reflected in the structure of Action Plan 2. These sectors relate to the major sources of emissions from our community:

  • Residential sector energy use
  • Non-residential sector energy use
  • Transport sector emissions
  • Waste sector emissions
  • Energy supply sector emissions.

AP2 was also informed by the original ACT Climate Change Strategy Weathering the Change and Action Plan 1 (2007):

AP2 Review

AP2 underwent a review in September 2015, which assessed the status of the 18 Actions set out in the strategy. It considered the outcomes of the report prepared by the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment and the latest ACT Greenhouse Gas Inventory and emission projection modelling. The report highlighted achievements, arising issues and identified the next steps the Government will take in the coming years.Climate change action in the ACT Cover

Implementation Status Report

Under AP2, the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment has been requested to prepare Implementation Status Reports on the implementation of ACT Government climate change policies. These are to be prepared at three yearly intervals in 2014, 2017 and 2020.

Each ISR is to address the following questions:

  • How are we tracking against sector greenhouse gas reduction targets?
  • What new opportunities or challenges have emerged?
  • What are the implications for the Territory from developments in climate science?
  • How fit for purpose are the Territory’s climate change adaptation policies?
  • How do the Territory’s targets and actions stand in relation to developments at the national or international level?

The first ISR was released by the Commissioner in March 2015 and is available at Environment Commissioner Special Reports and Investigations.

The Minister for the Environment, Mr Simon Corbell MLA, tabled the ACT Government’s response to the ISR in the Legislative Assembly on 15 September 2015. In tabling the response, the Minister thanked the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment for their diligent and comprehensive assessment of the ACT Government’s climate change strategy, AP2. Further, the Government is looking forward to the next Implementation Status Report, due in 2017.

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