Page 1620 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions investigative report—government response

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (4.28): I am pleased to table the government response to the scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT investigation undertaken by the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. In August 2020, as the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, I asked the commissioner to investigate scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the ACT, including consideration of possible ways to measure and reduce them; possible targets; and recommendations for short and long-term actions.

In September 2021 the investigation was completed and delivered to the ACT government. The key findings of the commissioner included that scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT are significant, at approximately 94 per cent of the total emissions in the territory; approximately 30 per cent of the ACT’s scope 3 emissions originate outside of Australia, 19 per cent from Queensland and 18 per cent from New South Wales; households account for almost 60 per cent of the scope 3 emissions, government 33 per cent, and business around eight per cent; and the majority of scope 3 emissions produced by the ACT government are related to building and lease assets.

The report was tabled in November 2021 and provided an overview of the investigation’s findings. The commissioner provided 12 recommendations, which are outlined and addressed in this government response. The report makes 12 recommendations for the reduction of scope 3 emissions in the territory. They concern the ACT’s leadership on climate action; ACT government operations; households; and planning, construction and infrastructure.

These recommendations include setting scope 3 emission reduction targets for government operations; reducing the physical footprint of ACT government staff toward seven square metres per person; developing scope 3 emissions reduction targets for infrastructure projects; implementing mandatory embodied carbon limits for all new and replacement buildings, fit-outs and infrastructure; and increasing inspections and reporting of compliance with building codes. The recommendations relate to all directorates and ministerial portfolios, and input was provided from across government agencies in the drafting of the government response. The government has agreed to one, agreed in principle to eight, and noted three recommendations.

Several recommendations relate to the setting of targets and contemplate changes to carbon accounting and methodology. The government has agreed in principle to these recommendations, given the scale of changes proposed and the need to undertake further detailed examination. This response recognises that there is still further work required to understand scope 3 emissions in the ACT context.

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