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Climate Act Review an Opportunity for Real Change

22 Jul 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Climate Change spokesperson

Meaningful and sustained action on climate change is not only a moral and economic imperative, with the Australian Government signing the Paris Agreement last December, Tasmania now has a legal responsibility to deliver emissions reductions and increase carbon storage.

Submissions to the review of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 close today.*

We hope the Premier and Environment Minister take seriously the opportunity to strengthen the legislation so that it drives real change.

We strongly recommend the legislation be overhauled to ensure government actions, decisions and policies do not have adverse climate impacts. This would require a significant change of tack from the old parties in government, attached as they are to industrial logging which releases carbon and dirty energy imports over Basslink.

The Act should set a legislative target of Net Zero emissions by 2030 and set interim, four year emissions’ reductions targets on the basis of available climate data and science.

The true picture of Tasmania’s annual emissions should be reported, to encompass all emissions’ activities including imports of coal fired electricity from Victoria over Basslink.

There is no doubt that Basslink imports make a heavy contribution to the State’s emissions’ profile, and they should be counted.

Tasmania should set a target to deliver 100% renewable energy by 2022, and commit to establishing itself as a carbon bank for the world through the protection of the estimated 4 billion Tonnes of carbon stored in Tasmanian forests.

After the hottest January, in the hottest year and hottest decade on record, business as usual is not an option for any government. 

We strongly urge the Liberal Government to break with their unfortunate political tradition, and strengthen the Climate Change Act to bring Tasmania’s response to climate change in to line with the commitments made by world leaders in Paris.

 

* The Tasmanian Greens’ submission to Climate Change (State Action) Act Review is attached.