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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3390 ..

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (5.06): I am pleased to speak in support of the motion. The ACT is delivering one of the most ambitious climate action agendas in the world. We are internationally recognised for achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and for achieving our interim target of a 40 per cent reduction in emissions in that same year. These accomplishments signal our progress towards achieving our legislated target of zero net emissions by 2045.

The government is committed to a fair transition to net zero emissions, and measures such as the Sustainable Household Scheme and the Vulnerable Household Energy Support Scheme will support Canberrans in achieving this goal. The Vulnerable Household Energy Support Scheme and the Solar for Low Income Program provide targeted support to improve energy efficiency of public housing, rental properties and low-income owner-occupier residences. They are an important way to build resilience and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.

Our response to climate change also provides opportunities to drive the territory’s renewable energy sector. Investment in sustainable infrastructure, like the Big Canberra Battery, will support job creation in the sector. The Big Canberra Battery will deliver at least 250 megawatts of new storage capacity across the territory. This project will not only support the territory’s efforts to reduce emissions but also it will strengthen the stability of our energy grid, foster growth in the renewable energy sector, create more skilled local jobs and provide a source of revenue for the territory.

Through initiatives like the Community Zero Emissions Grants Program, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme and the Community Clubs Building Energy Efficiency Fund, the government is working to support a reduction in emissions and energy costs for community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and households across the city. These initiatives reflect the government’s commitment to support community action towards net zero emissions. Achieving this future is a shared ambition of governments, businesses and individuals.

Our role is to set clear climate action priorities, to make the necessary investments and to facilitate the opportunities for informed decisions supporting the transition to net zero emissions by 2045. This will require changes to many things and, perhaps most significantly, to how we travel. Transport emissions currently contribute over 60 per cent of total emissions in the territory. To address this challenge we need to engage in more active travel, we need to utilise more public transport and we need to transition to zero emission vehicles. The government will support this transition.

We will also invest in improving our road and active travel networks, expand our public transport services, delivering a zero emissions bus network and rolling out more public charging infrastructure for zero emission vehicles. Through such collective action, we will ensure that all Canberrans are kept safe, enjoy our city’s natural environment and share in the economic opportunities provided in the transition to a zero emissions future.

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