Emissions and mitigation

The most ambitious greenhouse gas reductions targets in Australia were introduced in the ACT by the Legilative Assembly in October 2010.

The Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010, updated in April 2016, establishes emissions reduction targets for the ACT of:

  • 100% renewable electricity by 2020
  • 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission on 1990 levels by 2020
  • zero net emissions (carbon neutrality) by 2050
  • peak per person emissions by 2013

In addition, the legislation:

  • mandates that the Government regularly report to the Legislative Assembly on the Territory'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 fifth year in November 2015 and was reviewed to see if it was operating effectively and aligned with the current national and international policy. The ACT Government, in leading the way with ambitious targets, amended the legislation to reach  zero net emissions a decade earlier, to 2050. Simultaneously, the 100% renewable electricity target was updated via a disallowable instrument.

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

More information:

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

Action Plan 2 (AP2), launched in 2012, is the ACT Government’s strategy for meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets and becoming a sustainable and carbon neutral community. It is driven by our commitment, as a community, to address climate change and our understanding that by working together we will make a positive contribution to climate change.

AP2’s structure reflects the ACT Government’s sectoral approach to identifying and targeting major sources of emissions in our community:

Action Plan 2 covers:

Action Plan 2 cover

  • residential sector energy use
  • non-residential sector energy use
  • transport sector emissions
  • waste sector emissions
  • energy supply sector emissions.

AP2 was reviewed in 2015.

More information:

AP2 review

AP2 was reviewed in September 2015, assessing the status of the strategy's 18 actions. It also considered the:

  • outcomes of the report prepared by the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment  
  • the latest ACT Greenhouse Gas Inventory and emission projection modelling.

The report highlighted achievements, issues and the next steps for the Government.

More information: Climate change action in the ACT Cover

AP2 was informed by AP1, the original ACT's climate change strategy called Weathering the Change and Actions Plan 1 (2007).

More information:

Implementation Status Report

Under AP2, the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment prepares implementation status reports on the implementation of ACT Government climate change policies. These are to be prepared at three yearly intervals- 2020, 2017 and 2014.

Each implementation status report addresses these questions:

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

The first implementation status report was publically released by the Commissioner in March 2015. It's available at Environment Commissioner Special Reports and Investigations.

The Minister for the Environment tabled the ACT Government’s response to the implementation status report in the Legislative Assembly on 15 September 2015.