Climate change is already affecting communities around the world. In Canberra, climate change means longer, hotter summers and more heatwaves, increased risk of bushfires and more variable rainfall.
With the ACT community’s support, the Government has committed to a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the latest as part of its commitment to the global effort to limit global warming to two degrees.
We want your help to reach that emissions target, both through your ideas and your practical, daily actions.
From 11 December 2017 to 9 April 2018 we asked you to comment on our discussion paper which expanded upon the Government's plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions for the ACT.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this discussion! Over the course of the consultation we:
- received 100 written submissions
- reached over 3000 people on Your Say
- spoke to around 1,700 people
- delivered 16 presentations
- reached 60,000 on social media
- received 116 photo competition entries
Find out some of the initial findings from the consultation in our Listening Report, including key community insights.
What happens next?
Your ideas will be considered when developing the ACT’s next climate change strategy. We are now in the process of reviewing your feedback which will help build a more livable and sustainable city! A full consultation report will be released in mid-2018.
To stay up to date on the development of ACT's next climate change strategy as well as further opportunities to have your say, subscribe to our mailing list below.
Emissions reduction targets
The ACT has set a nation-leading target of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. This target stands among the world’s most progressive and demonstrates the Territory’s commitment to delivering real climate action. The ACT has also set interim targets to guide progress towards achieving net zero emissions. Advice from the ACT Climate Change Council supports these targets as responsible, science-based and achievable.
The ACT has committed to reducing emissions (from 1990 levels) by:
- 40% by 2020
- 50-60% by 2025
- 65-75% by 2030
- 90-95% by 2040
- net zero emissions by 2045 (previously 2050).
What's happening now?
What's happening now?
We’re off to a good start to tackle climate change, as our 100% renewable electricity by 2020 target will reduce emissions by 40% on 1990 emissions. But we still need to lower emissions in the transport, gas, buildings, waste and other sectors.
Climate change affects us all, and achieving net zero emissions is an ambitious goal that will touch the lives of everyone in our community. Over the past few years we have spoken to several community groups, scientists and stakeholders to help our understanding of these very complex issues. We have also established a roundtable of stakeholders, including environmental, business and community groups, to benefit from their knowledge sharing.
In addition to the statutory Climate Change Council, which is an expert body that advises the Minister on matters related to climate change, the Government has also set up the Climate Change Ministerial Advisory Group. The Advisory Group is made up of representatives of the community, industry, environment and business stakeholders and is an important way of engaging with these stakeholders.
This work enabled the development of the ACT's Climate Strategy to a Net Zero Emissions Territory discussion paper which was released for community comment between 11 December 2017 and 9 April 2018.
We know the wider community has new, innovative ideas and ‘lived experience’ that can help tackle climate change. Ideas that we received throughout this period of consultation will inform the next stage of this work. The final strategy will be accompanied by a five year implementation plan to turn the long-term vision into short-term actions that are adaptive to change.
About the Strategy
About the Strategy
The ACT’s next climate strategy will set a path to achieving a prosperous and highly liveable zero emissions city that remains one of the best places to live, work and play now and into the future.
It will take into account the planning and transport strategies as none of the strategies can be developed in isolation. Planning and transport go hand in hand, and all need to focus on sustainability. The ACT Government aims to mainstream climate change into all Territory activities, including the way we plan, build and run our city.
The ACT produces emissions from three main areas: energy (electricity and gas), transport (petrol and diesel fuel), and waste (methane in landfill). A small amount of emissions comes from agriculture, and our land use is sometimes a source (releasing carbon dioxide) or a sink (taking in carbon dioxide) depending on how we use it. These areas, or sectors as they are referred to, are the focus of this work.
The climate change strategy will build on the ACT’s existing, successful Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (AP2) because it’s time to set our sights higher and take into account the latest research and thinking.
The actions we take today will determine how easily we can reach our target. For example, buildings, energy and transport systems we construct now will still be here in 20–30 years.
To help prevent, and best protect ourselves from, dangerous climate change, we should make efforts to achieve net zero emissions well before 2050, particularly where this makes good economic sense and leads to other benefits for the community.
We kicked off our community engagement on this topic in February 2017 with the first community and stakeholder roundtable. Around 70 community representatives took part in the roundtable, providing valuable input on how to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts. A second roundtable was held in May 2017 to continue these conversations. Reports from these roundtables are available in the documents library.
- What are greenhouse gas emissions?
- What does ‘net zero emissions’ mean?
- How will climate change affect the ACT?
- Why has the Government committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest?
- How is the ACT achieving 100% renewable electricity?
- What about transport and planning strategies?
Register of Ideas
The Register lists ideas received from the community, industry and other stakeholders during the formal consultation period for the ACT’s Climate Strategy to a Net Zero Emissions Territory discussion paper (December 2017 – April 2018). The Register also contains ideas already received during development of this discussion paper in 2017. In total, over 2,000 ideas were received and aggregated into over 900 individual line items in the Register. These ideas form a valuable resource for further consideration in developing climate change policy. Please contact the Climate Change Policy team if you would like an excel copy of the Register of Ideas.