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Climate Change - Emission Reduction Strategy

Parliamentary Activity - Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN

The United Nations has given us until 2030 to dramatically cut carbon emissions and stabilise our climate or risk the world warming more than 1.5 degrees. Scientists are telling us in very clear language that the impacts on human survival of not doing this are dire. Your Premier's Address did not mention climate change once.

This is a clear betrayal of all Tasmanians, especially the 8000 children who left school last Friday to tell you, the Premier of Tasmania, that we are in a climate emergency. They are demanding that you show leadership and courage and treat this as a crisis, but you did not mention climate change and you barely touched on the impact of the recent massive bushfires.

Will you recognise that Tasmania, like every country on the planet, is in a climate emergency? Will you immediately focus your efforts to dramatically cut emissions across all sectors to keep carbon in the ground, to prepare communities for the ever-increasing extreme climate and to pivot our economy to a zero-carbon future?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I accept it is an important issue and worthy of scrutiny in this place. I am happy to advise members about what this Government is doing to deal with what is a serious issue that requires very local action, international action and, of course, a state response. We have in many respects been a leader in responding to climate change, not just in tackling climate change itself but also in advancing our renewable energy capabilities, which helps considerably. In climate science and research we have internationally renowned people working and assisting business, industry and government as well.

The Australian Government has released its annual state and territory greenhouse gas inventories for the 2016 reporting period. The report showed Tasmania is the first jurisdiction in Australia to achieve zero net emissions. The total emissions for 2016 were at minus-0.61 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is a 100 per cent decrease from the 1990 baseline level.

Greens members interjecting.

Mr HODGMAN - This is a matter of international significance which I hope you will take the opportunity to inform anyone about, including those passionate young Tasmanians, because I am sure when you speak to them you do not tell them that we are leading the world.

Our Climate Change Action Plan 2017-2021 sets the Tasmanian Government's agenda for action on climate change through to 2021. It is an important matter. It will be further discussed by the minister during the debate in response to my address yesterday.

Our actions speak louder than words and we are making considerable progress. In fact there are 37 actions contained within Climate Action 21 and they grouped into six priority areas: understanding our future climate; advancing our renewable energy capability; reducing our transport emissions; growing a climate-ready economy; building climate resilience; and supporting community action.

We allocated $3 million in the 2017 -18 Budget to deliver a range of new initiatives to respond to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under Climate Action 21, actions focus on climate change research, improving energy efficiency, reducing transport emissions, supporting our local businesses and local government and communities to take action. There are a number of actions contained within that report which I draw to the member who asked the question. We are doing a lot to respond to an important issue worthy of being raised in this place. It is worthy of considerable public debate and discussion. I hope it is done on the basis of information and fact and looking at the record of what we are actually delivering.