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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 1740..

Greenhouse gas abatement scheme

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

ACT Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme—Compliance and operation of the scheme 2006, dated May 2007, prepared by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I bring to the Assembly today the second annual report of the operation of the ACT greenhouse gas abatement scheme. The challenges posed by climate change affect everyone around the world and require concerted action if we are to avoid critical environmental, economic and social consequences. Rising greenhouse emissions pose a significant threat to the social, environmental and economic welfare of citizens, present and future.

The ACT is a small contributor to the global greenhouse gas emissions. We create about one per cent of Australia's emissions, and Australia contributes about one per cent of global emissions. However, we have one of the highest per capita emissions from residential electricity use in the world. Tackling our emissions from electricity use is key to reducing the ACT's greenhouse gas emissions.

The greenhouse gas abatement scheme was established in the ACT under the Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Act 2004 and commenced on 1 January 2005. Under the Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Act, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission is the scheme regulator in the ACT. One of the commission's functions as regulator is to determine the greenhouse gas reduction target or benchmark for the ACT in any given year.

The scheme is designed to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of electricity. It requires retailers of electricity in the ACT to procure an increasing component of their product from cleaner and greener means, thereby effecting large reductions in associated greenhouse gases. The compliance of these retailers in 2005 achieved greenhouse gas emissions abatement of 316,362 tonnes. This is the equivalent of the annual emissions produced by around 73,570 cars. In 2006, there were 14 licensed electricity retailers in the ACT. The report confirms that all ACT electricity retailers have met their obligations under the scheme for the 2006 compliance year.

In 2006, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission recalculated the ACT's percentage of the NSW-ACT market. The result was a lower percentage than previously calculated, which in turn affects the benchmark level. In addition, the

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