THE ACT Government last month released the ACT Climate Change Strategy: AP2, which maps out the pathway to achieve the government's legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets in 2020 and to become a sustainable and carbon neutral community.
Released by Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell, large-scale energy deployment is at the centre of the new climate change action plan that aims to see 90 per cent of the ACT's power sourced from renewable energy alternatives by 2020.
"The ACT Government is committed to delivering significant reductions in our carbon emissions with a 40% reduction on 1990 levels, by 2020, and carbon neutrality by 2060, and now I am pleased to detail how we will achieve these targets," Mr Corbell said.
"Solar energy has been the centrepiece of the government's renewable energy projects to date but this strategy outlines a broader pathway to achieve carbon reduction targets."
Mr Corbell said the government will combine the benefits of new renewable energy alternatives like wind with existing solar projects, encourage greater use of public transport and boost energy efficiency in homes and buildings.
According to the government, the key areas of reduction in carbon emissions contained in the climate change strategy include:
- 218,000 tonnes of carbon emissions reduced from the residential sector through increased energy efficiency; restrictions on installations of high emission hot water heaters, continuation of the ACTSmart programs and collaboration with local tertiary education institutions to develop new technologies to produce energy;
- 181,000 tonne reduction in the commercial sector through the possible expansion of the energy efficiency scheme to large businesses and buildings as well as a heating and cooling load map to encourage private investment in low-carbon energy networks;
- 138,000 tonne reduction through the implementation of the transport for Canberra strategy that will increase public transport frequency to encourage people out of their private vehicles; and
- 1,471,000 tonne reduction through the deployment of large-scale renewable energy including solar and wind power.
Mr Corbell said the government is taking a "responsible approach" to the roll out of the strategy to minimise the cost impact on householders, with the strategy to be introduced in a staged approach and subject to regulatory impact assessment, cost benefit analysis and consideration of social equity issues.
AP2 is an update to the ACT Government's 2007 'Weathering the Change' document. More information is available from the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate website at <http://www.environment.act.gov.au/climate_change/ap2>.