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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3727 ..


The interim targets I have adopted are: 50 to 60 per cent less than 1990 emissions by 30 June 2025; 65 to 75 per cent below 1990 emissions by 30 June 2030; and 90 to 95 per cent less than 1990 emissions by 30 June 2040. These targets are now a signed instrument and we are committed to working towards them and to achieving them. They will help the community to keep government honest as we move towards 2045 and help government mark its progress as we achieve each of those interim milestones. We are already hard at work preparing a new climate strategy to ensure that we are on the right track to reach the 2025 target.

I conclude by speaking briefly to the costs of tackling climate change. In short, the cost of achieving net zero emissions by 2045 is uncertain. Much will depend on factors like changes in technology, markets and consumer behaviour. What we do know is that the cost of not taking action now can be catastrophic. We know that industry needs certainty and legislating this revised target today will ensure that companies will invest across the board in buildings, transport and energy to suit a low carbon future.

We also know that many of the measures we are taking to reduce emissions will make us more resilient to climate change impacts. These measures include constructing more modern and efficient buildings, moving towards a technologically advanced and diverse transport system, encouraging and supporting citizens who have the capacity and inclination for active travel, ensuring that our electricity supply is based on advanced renewables and distributed generation, improving the ACT’s tree cover and water retention, and building a more compact urban form.

All of these will help us meet our long-term reduction goals and help to reduce costs for households and businesses. But they will also help us when heatwaves, storms and bushfires hit us in the future. They will make us more able to cope in an uncertain future and avoid damage to our environment, to our built form, to our economy and, most importantly, to the health and safety of our citizens.

On a global scale we know that the rest of the world looks to leading jurisdictions like the ACT to show how we can respond effectively to the threats of climate change. So we are not just looking after ourselves; we are also helping leaders around the planet to find solutions to this global problem. The ACT community is all too familiar with these issues. During our consultation process we received a significant amount of feedback from the community that we seriously risk creating problems for ourselves later if we do not act now.

We know that climate-friendly technologies are increasingly coming down in cost. For example, wind and solar generation are becoming cheaper and households are achieving major energy savings with solar panels. We also know that on a larger scale wind and solar are the lowest cost new forms of energy supply. When it comes to a levelled cost of energy, they are cheaper than building new coal-fired power stations.

Active policies to promote these leading technologies were drivers for these cost reductions. Since we announced our plans to move to zero emission vehicles we have seen tremendous new interest from manufacturers and users in these leading


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