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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1622 ..


So the longer we delay this action, the quicker we will need to cut emissions and the less room we will have for error. The 2020 Global Carbon Budget report estimated that we need to cut global emissions by one to two billion tonnes each year from 2020 to 2030 to be on track to keep warming to below two degrees. Bear in mind that the Paris agreement talked about 1.5 degrees. Each year that we delay taking this action will mean greater reductions are needed in future years.

Our experience here in the ACT demonstrates the opportunities that come with embracing and supporting renewable energy. Our 100 per cent renewable electricity target, and the reverse auctions we used to achieve it, attracted over $500 million in local investment and provided a vital boost to the Australian renewables sector that was struggling in the absence of strong national leadership. There had been a complete vacuum, and the people who won those contracts and people in industry will tell you that it was the ACT government’s reverse auctions that kept the large-scale renewable sector afloat in the terrible years of the Tony Abbott climate policies—or absence of climate policies.

Australia has a great opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower, and could aim to export zero-emissions renewable energy and technologies to the world. In doing this, we can create thousands of zero-emissions jobs in renewable electricity, green hydrogen, green manufacturing and technical expertise. These projects could reinvigorate rural areas and provide green jobs for Australians all over the country. The phase-out of fossil fuels is not only possible; it is necessary—and it will lead to a better future for all of us. We do not have time for excuses, and we do not have time for federal government policies that protect the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our future. We need decisive action nationally and globally. Anything less is a deliberate decision to expose our communities to unacceptable harm and future climate risks.

That is why the ACT has been so clear in its action. It is worth reflecting on what the ACT has done because Ms Castley has done that classic thing. A little bit of research and a little bit of knowledge can be presented so that it sounds as if you know what you are talking about when it is used to tell a very inaccurate story. The ACT government fleet, for example—

Ms Castley: That is so condescending.

MR RATTENBURY: No, we heard the speech, and we heard all the misrepresentations that were in it. The ACT government fleet, for example, was recently recognised by the Australasian Fleet Management Association for the outstanding work that has been achieved. It is generally recognised as being the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in Australia. And, yes, we have a few more vehicles that we need to transition, but that is the policy. And, yes, the Auditor-General did make some findings for improvement but you cannot deny that the ACT has done more than anybody when it comes to transitioning our fleet.

Ms Castley threw in a red herring about electricity prices in Los Angeles and Barcelona. I am pleased to inform the Assembly that ACT electricity prices, even with


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