Page 5105 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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Question resolved in the affirmative.

Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee

Report 2—government response

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.12): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Report 2—Inquiry into ACT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets—Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee—Interim report—September 2009—Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I am pleased today to table the ACT government’s response to the interim report of the Assembly’s inquiry into ACT greenhouse gas reduction targets.

On 15 September, the committee released its first report into the inquiry and announced its intention to provide a final report in March next year. I would like to thank the committee for its comprehensive report and overview of the key issues. I would also like to thank the many individuals and organisations who made submissions and those who appeared at the 11 public hearings.

The clear message from the inquiry is that we need to act now, that climate change is having real and direct impacts on our local environment right now and that cities, like our own, can show leadership and make a real contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report states that “there is a strong case for ambitious action”. In effect it says we need to take steps as soon as possible to reduce our emissions.

It is also important to highlight that the committee noted that the case for inaction because we are a small jurisdiction or a small greenhouse gas producer is nonsense. We all have a responsibility to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint as soon as possible. Indeed, the committee endorsed my own comments to the inquiry that “we have a very strong moral obligation to future generations to adopt stronger and more visionary targets”.

As members are aware, the science of climate change is constantly evolving, and the government’s view is that the outcome we must seek is a safe climate for now and into the future and that targets we set should aim to achieve this: a safe climate that does not put in jeopardy or undermine our ability to maintain existing ecosystems; a safe climate that does not jeopardise our ability to have reliable food, water and energy supplies; and a safe climate that does not contribute to social disintegration or a lack of social cohesion.

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