Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 December 2016) . . Page.. 236 ..
22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22)—Marrakech
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health) (11.22): I am pleased to make this ministerial statement on the Conference of the Parties, COP22, meeting that I attended in Marrakech, Morocco in November this year. In 2015 COP21 in Paris led to the Paris climate change agreement and global recognition of the need to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius. COP22 had a focus on the actions needed to achieve the Paris agreement, including actions in relation to mitigation, technology transfer, adaptation and capacity building. Over 25,000 participants from governments, civil society and international organisations attended COP22, creating a positive and action-driven event.
At COP22, the ACT was lauded by numerous delegates, jurisdictions and country representatives for its leadership on climate action and its target of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020. The ACT has established itself as a world-leading jurisdiction in renewable electricity and greenhouse gas reduction targets. I was proud to represent the government and our city on the international stage. The ACT had the opportunity to present at a number of events to promote the work of the ACT government and share the lessons learnt with representatives from all over the world. As a smaller jurisdiction we are punching far above our weight. We are inspiring others by showing not only how 100 per cent renewables can be a target but how it can actually be implemented.
Just last month the ACT won another national award for its leadership on climate change, the Carbon Disclosure Project’s award for the best renewable energy target by a capital city in Australia, beating Sydney and Melbourne. Our targets are consistent with the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement to limit warming to less than two degrees by the end of the century. This is critical to give the planet a decent chance at avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Unfortunately, we are working in an environment where our federal government is letting us down. Its actions are inconsistent with the Paris climate agreement and inconsistent with the science that shows we need to stop burning fossil fuels to avoid dangerous climate change. The government is supporting projects like the Adani Carmichael coalmine. This is a mine that is as big as the entire geographical area of Canberra. It will produce over 4.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases if it becomes operational. It is a project that flies in the face of the clear climate science that says that we cannot burn any of the world’s fossil fuel reserves if we want to prevent dangerous global warming.
In the absence of appropriate national action, smaller jurisdictions—cities, states and regions—are stepping up to the plate. Not only are cities and regions the stage for many of the actions that we need to take, such as building sustainable, zero emission cities, but subnational governments have become the key protagonists as our national governments fail to take the action required.