The ACT Government is committed to leading by example to showcase best practice sustainability in Government operations. The Government aims to demonstrate leadership by pursuing rapid emission reductions targets of:
- greater than a 33% reduction in emissions from Government operations by 2025 (from 2020 levels)
- zero emissions from Government operations by 2040.
These targets will be met without the purchase of carbon offsets.
By 2020-21 the Government will source all its electricity from renewable sources. However, Government operations will continue to generate emissions from natural gas used for space and water heating and from transport fuel use.
Figure: Projected ACT Government emissions in 2020
The Zero Emissions Government Framework coordinates a whole-of-government approach to reducing Government emissions in a cost-effective manner.
The Zero Emissions Government Fund is the key mechanism for supporting cost effective emissions reduction projects in Government operation. The Fund provides interest-free loans to Government agencies to support emissions reduction projects. Loans are repaid with the resulting energy bill savings.
Progress towards the Zero Emissions Government targets will be publicly reported each year in the Minister's Annual Report under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010.
- Develop and implement a roadmap for transitioning Transport Canberra buses to zero emissions by 2040 at the latest.
- Establish and implement a pathway to a zero emissions ACT Government health sector by 2040 informed by an assessment of all current and planned public health facilities.
- Invest an interim price of $20 per tonne of emissions from government operations into measures to meet the Zero Emissions Government target from 2020–21, and arrange for an independent body to develop a social cost of carbon for application from 2025.
- Establish a pathway to zero emissions ACT Government schools supported by an interim emissions reduction plan to 2025.
- Ensure all newly built or newly leased Government buildings and facilities are all-electric and climate-wise (where fit for purpose).
- Replace all space and water heating systems in Government facilities with electric systems at the end of their economic lives (where fit for purpose).
- Ensure all newly leased ACT Government passenger fleet vehicles will be zero emissions vehicles from 2020–21 (where fit for purpose).
- Investigate the use of innovative finance options such as Energy Performance Contracting as a method of reducing costs and emissions in Government assets.