In the face of the Federal Government’s failure to manage the transition to a clean energy future, the Climate Action Roundtable has agreed to new plans for sub-national government action on climate change today in Cairns, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury said.
“The Federal Government’s comprehensive failure to manage the transition to a clean energy future, and focus on spruiking a ‘clean coal’ fantasy, makes it crucial that states and territories like the ACT lead the way in climate change action,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The roundtable group is providing an essential alternative national voice for ambitious climate action and will continue to call for the Australian Government to take cost-effective and sustainable action to implement its commitment under the Paris Agreement.
“The current national back-pedalling of Australia’s climate change policies and retreat to coal must not be allowed to endanger the progress of cities, states and territories, like the ACT, which are leading the way in climate change action. Tomorrow I will be visiting parts of the Great Barrier Reef endangered by coral bleaching and will see first-hand the devastating damage caused by burning coal.”
The group today re-committed to close collaboration, agreeing to establish working groups to identify opportunities for urgent climate action.
“The ACT will continue to play a leadership role by directing the Energy Efficient Built Environment Working Group and maintaining a clear commitment to a work program. By working collectively in this way we can magnify the impact and speed of our interventions.”
The Transition to Renewable Energy including energy storage and low emission vehicles Working Group will be led by South Australia.
“If the Federal Government has any interest in understanding the true costs of clean energy and how to secure investment, it should look to the ACT where we have delivered some of the lowest cost renewable energy in Australia and provided long-term certainty and confidence to investors.
“Canberra is well on track to achieving our 100% renewable electricity target by 2020, with 35% of our supply now provided by wind and solar. The cost of achieving this clean energy transition will peak at about $5.50 per week for households in 2020—a cost that the community has said is acceptable, and a cost that is largely offset by the ACT’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme, which will deliver savings of $3.20 to $5 per household in 2020. So it is a myth that renewables hurt the hip pocket of consumers.”
The group’s communiqué also urged the Australian Government to:
- actively pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
- set the 2030 target for emissions reductions at a level consistent with the cost-effective delivery of the objectives of the Paris Agreement; and
- use the national review to establish the foundations for a bipartisan approach to climate change policy.
Originally hosted by the ACT in 2016, the Climate Action Roundtable was established following the Paris climate change conference (COP21) and has a focus on how governments can reach net zero emissions by mid century.