Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 16 February 2017) . . Page.. 584 ..
continue to fill the national policy vacuum and do the heavy lifting to address the challenges of climate change.
The government will not be able to support the amendment circulated and moved by Ms Lee. It removes the urgency of the motion and the actions needed to prepare the ACT for severe weather events and, of course, the acknowledgement that a vital aspect of climate change mitigation is transition away from burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation.
Madam Speaker, in closing, the ACT can be proud of its actions on climate change. We are leading the way and have made remarkable progress in recent years. Given the severe consequences that climate change will have both in the ACT and globally, I support efforts to rapidly reduce emissions and prepare our infrastructure and community to be resilient to the impacts of climate change.
MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (11.29): This government has much to be proud of in combating the challenge of human-induced climate change. We are global leaders in a global problem. Addressing climate change requires all of us to act—it is a shared responsibility—individuals, households, schools, business and government. This ACT government is moving forward with the technology of the future. We will have 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020.
The ACT government is innovative in achieving our renewable energy targets, with cutting edge market initiatives like reverse auctions, in which energy providers compete to offer the lowest cost. We will secure savings for Canberrans, invest in renewable technology and create economic incentives for the production of cheap power. I am very proud to be part of a government that is committed to a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. We are similarly committed to zero net emissions by 2050 at the latest—another critical goal.
It would be remiss of me not to comment upon the heatwave that struck Canberra, and Australia more broadly, on the weekend just past. We are seeing the impact of a warming climate already. The threat of bushfires, droughts, heatwaves, storms and flash flooding are directly correlated to the global climate.
Climate change is already wreaking havoc on our planet. To deal with global inaction, the ACT government is taking action to protect the wellbeing and property of Canberrans. We will have to expand regulatory settings on bushfire risk, expand emergency services, upgrade capital works to maintain them through harsher climates, provide proper heat mitigation assets—more shade and drinking fountains to cope with heat stress—new building regulation for residential and commercial buildings that reflect the new, higher standards required in extreme heat, as well as protecting ecosystems facing new stresses.
Ultimately, we must take action to reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather and, in doing so, increase our resilience with proactive steps. These weather conditions, and the strain they put on our electricity network and our community, are only going to happen more often.