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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 March 2017) . . Page.. 946 ..

Mr Steve Posselt

Climate change

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (6.23): On Saturday, 25 February it was great to attend the kayak to Canberra climate change petition welcome rally at the West Basin at Lake Burley Griffin. It was a welcome event for Steve Posselt, who is an Australian engineer, environmental activist and climate campaigner who has paddled thousands of kilometres around the world for climate change awareness and to urge governments to recognise the importance of climate change action.

Steve recently paddled 1,150 kilometres from Ballina on the New South Wales north coast to Moruya. He then transported his kayak 180 kilometres to Canberra by land, collecting signatures for his petition along the way. The petition was launched to urge the Australian parliament to declare a climate emergency and to initiate climate action. The petition was launched on June 2016 with the support of Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty and Ian Dunlop, former chair of the Australian Coal Association. On Saturday, Steve delivered the petition, with 18,000 signatures, to Pat Conroy, Labor member and shadow assistant minister for climate change. It calls upon the government to recognise that action on climate change is crucial and that we need to mobilise our resources to combat climate change.

The event raised the important issue of Australia working towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We committed to that following the Paris climate talks, but the ACT is recognised as a national and international leader on renewable energy, and we have been at the forefront of addressing climate change as a city of clean energy and innovation.

The ACT already has one of the lowest emission rates in Australia, and the ACT government is committed to further reducing emissions, with the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets of any jurisdiction in Australia. Most notably, the ACT government has legislated for a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 and zero net emissions by 2050. By 2020 the ACT will also be reducing its total emissions by 40 per cent comparative to our emission levels in 1990. This will see a transition into the use of more renewable energy sources.

The ACT government has also set up the Climate Change Council, which was established in 2011 under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010. The council consults organisations and businesses regarding climate change and provides annual reports on the ACT government’s progress on meeting these goals. The Climate Change Council was also a strong proponent for our 100 per cent renewable energy target.

In order to properly address climate change, there must be a collaborative effort from subnational groups and organisations. The ACT government is setting an example for our nation to pave the way in creating an innovative and sustainable climate policy framework for Australia and the world. This event was a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge the climate change petition, to showcase the leadership that the

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