Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3393 ..
At the recent estimates hearings, Minister Rattenbury said that the government had no formal targets for households to disconnect from gas and could not provide information about how many Canberra households have moved off gas, and admitted they could not measure when a house is completely disconnected from gas. With respect to target emissions, we know that transport accounts for 60 per cent of the territory’s emissions, so why is our government investing so heavily in diesel buses, and why was Minister Rattenbury unable at estimates to provide information about charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and what measures will reduce our transport emissions year on year?
As shadow minister for the environment and emissions reduction, I have been studying the measures we have in place to meet our interim targets, in an effort to hold the government to account on its environmental stewardship. There is a lack of clarity about whether we will meet the 2025 target, a lack of clarity regarding the policies that will see us achieve these targets, and a lack of clarity about the cost to government and the community of reaching such milestones.
There is also no clarity around whether we are achieving the best bang for our buck on emissions reduction, which is a question that we should all be concerned about. The answers my colleagues and I receive run to many pages of, “We’re doing lots.” But where is the simple maths showing the measure, the cost of the measure, the greenhouse reductions from the measure and, importantly, how far that particular measure takes us to deliver these important targets?
During estimates I asked Minister Rattenbury about whether we were meeting our 2025 scenario outlined in the climate change strategy. I was informed that a series of scenarios were put together to contemplate some of the pathways we would need in order to get to the targets we have. If the scenario in the strategy is not real, if that does not reflect the actual government targets, the question remains: what is the actual situation or scenario today? What are the measures for transport? What are the targets for transport? What are the measures for gas? What are the targets for gas? What will deliver us the 2025 targets, and how?
We need this information. I ask the minister for emissions reduction to share with the Assembly: what is the government’s current scenario for reaching the 2025 legislated targets? What is the cost-benefit analysis of all of the measures currently in place to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and where is the recent economic modelling on new, additional measures to achieve our legislated targets? Otherwise, it is all blah, blah, blah.
On the issue of transparency and government’s commitment to real climate action, another issue of concern is that the government continues to hold shares in fossil fuel companies, despite the Chief Minister telling ACT Labor’s annual conference back in 2015 that the government would revise its environmental criteria for shareholdings of fossil fuel companies and adjust its investments.
Mr Rattenbury, who was Greens leader at the time, praised community groups for raising the issue and getting the government to focus on it. Clearly, the government