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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 December 2009) . . Page.. 5612 ..

taken by jurisdictions to make measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are recognised within an emissions trading scheme. The reduction of the cap by these amounts will see the Australian government’s targets met through community action.

I understand that the Australian government will reintroduce the draft legislation early in the new year and that it will include the recently amended provisions. The Australian parliament needs to match the ACT’s leadership on this issue and act on climate change now by adopting the CPRS as the first step in reducing carbon pollution. As Ross Garnaut put it:

It is worth Australia’s effort to invest now, when there is time still to obtain a good result, in the best of the possibilities.

Canberrans in particular have embraced the concept of carbon reduction and the shift to neutrality. There are a number of significant local actions that are underway, including OfficeSmart, BusinessSmart, CitySwitch Green Office, the renewable energy feed-in tariff, and the commercial bathroom retrofit scheme.

The renewable energy feed-in tariff scheme, the most generous scheme of its kind in the country, has helped Canberra to achieve its 1,000th solar PV installation as of 6 November 2006. Earlier today in this place, the minister pointed to other recent positive developments. Provision of effective incentives for the take-up of renewable energy generation will remain a critical part of the ACT’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These generation options include solar and wind, the use of landfill gas and increasing purchases of GreenPower.

More and more it is recognised that cities such as Canberra play a critical role in designing and implementing the energy and infrastructure guidelines, investment promotion and consumer awareness campaigns necessary to combat and address climate change. We are looking to learn from leading sustainable cities such as Copenhagen and Freiburg in Germany, which share many features with Canberra and are widely regarded across the world as benchmarks in sustainability and the uptake of solar energy.

I said we need action at the national and international level. It is not sufficient for individual local authorities and state and territory governments to bear the burden of addressing climate change on their own in Australia. We need concerted action and we need it now. Indeed, the very future of many island nations depends on it. World leaders meeting in Copenhagen for this month’s critical United Nations conference on climate change need to take a strong stand. The Australian Senate needs to adopt the carbon pollution reduction scheme and locally we need to pursue our carbon targets vigorously.

In the words of Barack Obama in a recent speech to the United Nations on climate change:

… the journey is long and the journey is hard. And we don’t have much time left to make that journey. It’s a journey that will require each of us to persevere through setbacks, and fight for every inch of progress, even when it comes in fits and starts. So let us begin.

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