Page 3884 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Today I am tabling the greenhouse gas inventory report for the 2014-15 reporting period, prepared on behalf of the territory by independent consultants Pitt&Sherry. This is the first time that the ACT has been provided with an inventory that reflects greenhouse gas emissions from the most recent financial year. In previous periods these inventories have been prepared two years in arrears due to delays in gathering data and a reliance on greenhouse gas reporting prepared by the Australian government through the national inventory report. By adopting this new approach, we will ensure greater transparency and accountability in emissions reporting and we will have a substantially better understanding of the immediate effects of mitigation actions from the territory’s emissions and on our progress towards the first interim target in 2020.

Importantly, this latest inventory also adopts the methodology that is based on international best practice through adherence to the 2006 IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. The inventory is also consistent with the internationally recognised Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories released in 2014.

This year greenhouse gas emissions in the territory have risen, but this is substantially due to factors outside the ACT’s control. The current greenhouse gas inventory estimates emissions from the territory in 2014-15 as 3,934 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent, including emissions from land use, land use change and forestry. This is around 4½ per cent above our estimated emissions from the 2013-14 reporting period. This increase is attributed to a range of interrelated factors, including increased emission factors in the national electricity market, winter temperatures and an increase in transport fuels.

In particular, electricity continues to be the largest single source of emissions in the ACT, accounting for 56 per cent of emissions. Photo-electricity emissions increased by around two per cent from 2013-14 to 2014-15. However, this was on the back of an increase in demand of only 0.7 per cent. The increase in electricity emissions therefore is due to an increase in the emissions factor used to calculate emissions from electricity generation. This increase incorporates updates from the Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO, and, significantly, includes the period during which the impact of the repeal of the national carbon price from July 2014 occurred.

The effect of the repeal of the carbon price has been an overall increase in the amount of coal-fired electricity available in the national electricity market and a corresponding decrease in renewable energy generation. Total gas emissions increased by around six per cent from 2013-14 despite an increase in gas prices. This has been linked to what the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed as the coldest Canberra winter in 15 years.

Pleasingly, the percentage of renewable energy consumed in the ACT is still at a good level—although it fell from 19.8 per cent in 2013-14 to 18.5 per cent in 2014-15. This

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