40% Emissions Reduction Target – What does it mean for me?

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The ACT Government’s announcement of a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% by 2020 shows leadership at a time when such leadership at a national level has been sorely lacking.

The Government’s decision follows the Inquiry into ACT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets by the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and Water (final report issued in August 2010) and by consultancy advice from Kinesis and Heuris Partners.

Community advocacy for the 40% target has been fantastic, especially the Canberra Loves 40% campaign. Several community groups and organisations worked together in support of the campaign, including the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Climate Action Canberra, Climate Whistleblowers, Conservation Council ACT Region, ANU Environment Collective, and SEE-Change.

ClimateXchange was delighted to help publicise the Canberra Loves 40% campaign, including through our online forums and events calendar.

Now that the target has been announced, what does it mean for the Canberra community? How can the 40% emissions reduction be achieved?

At the press conference where he announced the 40% target, Simon Corbell, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, said that ways of achieving the target could include energy efficiency at a broad scale, enhanced public transport, increased urban density and expanding use of renewable energy.

The Kinesis and Heuris Consultancy reports also advised the Government on possible options.

The Kinesis report indicated that the options best able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are Greenpower, fuel switching to trigeneration, more energy efficient lighting, a solar farm, solar hot water and improved vehicle efficiency.

The Heuris Partners report concluded that possible actions could include, amongst others:

  • Helping households reducing their energy use – for example through home audits and advice, and possibly targeted funding for home retrofits, and by broadening engagement about lifestyle and behaviour change.
  • The ACT Government leading the way – demonstrating leadership by reducing emissions from its own buildings and transport infrastructure
  • Energy efficiency initiatives – including in buildings leased/owned by the Commonwealth
  • Deepening community & business engagement & leveraging enthusiasm and creativity

What are your thoughts?  Comment below  or come and participate in the forums:

Conversations on the 40% reduction targets

The Government Announcment


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