ACT on track to meet climate target as emissions continue downward trend


Released 30/11/2017

The ACT’s 2016–17 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report shows ACT greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% over the year. The Report shows the Territory is on track to meet another of our climate targets—a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today.

Before tabling the report in the Assembly, Minister Rattenbury said the report provides a comprehensive picture of the Territory’s emissions and identified those sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.

Total emissions for 2016–17 were 3916 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (kt CO2 e), a 3% reduction since 2015–16.

“Although the Territory’s emissions are still 23% above 1990 emission levels, we will meet our 40% reduction target by 2020, primarily by achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The contracts to secure this renewable electricity generation are already in place.

“Currently electricity accounts for half our emissions. This is rapidly reducing as our new wind and solar farms come on line. Renewable electricity increased from 20% to 29% last year, creating a 9.8% reduction in emissions from electricity.

“Transport emissions increased by 2% from 2015-16, a continued upward trend. Transport now accounts for 29% of the ACT’s emissions and by 2020 will be the ACT’s largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 63% of overall emissions.

“With the majority of transport emissions coming from private car travel, cars will soon become Canberra’s single biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s essential that we improve the movement of people around our city, especially by increasing public transport, promoting active travel and electrifying our vehicle fleet.

“Gas usage in the ACT increased by 8%, reaching the highest level reported in the past five years. Gas is responsible for 10% of our overall emissions and is expected to cause 21% of our overall emissions by 2020. Residential customers account for well over half of total consumption, highlighting the need for further efforts to reduce gas usage in this sector by, for example, increasing the use of highly efficient electric appliances.

“Waste emissions currently account for 2% of the ACT’s greenhouse gas inventory but by 2020 they are expected to account for about 6% of our total emissions. Waste emissions reduced by 19% over the last year due to a decrease in waste to landfill, and an increase in landfill gas capture.

“Emissions from land use, land use change, forestry and agriculture - which account for less than 1% of emissions - have increased, primarily due to land clearing for new suburbs. This highlights the need to improve planning and reduce pressure on Canberra’s urban footprint.

“The reductions in emissions this year are the beginning of major reductions as we approach 2020 and, beyond that, as we journey towards net zero emissions,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Mr Rattenbury will be available for comment at 14:00 (2pm) today at the LA Member’s Entrance.

The 2016-17 Greenhouse Gas Inventory will be made available today at www.environment.act.gov.au.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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