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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 May 1993) . . Page.. 1610 ..


MR WOOD (Minister for Education and Training, Minister for the Arts and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (3.10): Madam Speaker, for the information of members, I present a report entitled "ACT Greenhouse Strategy" and move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to present to members the ACT greenhouse strategy. The strategy complements national action and provides the ACT community with the opportunity to maintain its quality lifestyle while making substantial moves towards meeting its greenhouse responsibilities. If levels of greenhouse gas emissions, most notably carbon dioxide emissions arising from burning fossil fuels, were to continue at the current rate, atmospheric concentrations would double by the early 2030s, using pre-industrial levels as a base. On balance, scientific studies indicate that such a doubling in the level of carbon dioxide may lead to a rise of between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius in the Earth's temperature. On a global level, the possible effects of such a temperature increase would be wide-ranging and potentially serious.

It is in this context that I released in January 1992 - it was part of our consultation process, might I emphasise - the document "ACT Greenhouse Strategy: A Draft Framework for Action and Options for Consideration". The document provided detailed information on the need for, and the possible elements of, a strategy relevant to the particular circumstances of the ACT. It outlined a large number of options which could possibly be implemented as part of a greenhouse strategy. In light of the comments received from the community, all suggested options, including additional ones arising from public comments, were reviewed for their appropriateness and practicality. The results of this review now form the basis of the ACT greenhouse strategy. In formulating the strategy, developments at the national and international levels have necessarily been taken into account. Climate change is global in nature and no one nation, government, or industry sector is able to provide an effective response in isolation.

Members will be aware that there has been considerable activity in developing responses to the enhanced greenhouse effect at both national and international levels. The development of the framework convention on climate change and the national greenhouse response strategy provide the most significant context for formulating an ACT strategy. Arising from the United Nations Earth Summit held in June 1992 in Brazil, Australia has agreed to the framework convention on climate change. It aims to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level which would prevent dangerous interference with the global climate. Nationally, Commonwealth, State and Territory governments have now agreed to the national greenhouse response strategy which was released by heads of government on 7 December 1992. It provides a suitable framework in which to pursue Australia's national and international responsibilities concerning climate change and recognises the importance of a strong, growing and diversified economy, and the need to maintain international competitiveness.

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