The ACT Government’s Community Engagement Strategy on Climate Change, released today by Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, builds on the large amount of work already being done in the territory to tackle the causes and effects of climate change.
“Climate projections for the ACT indicate warmer and drier conditions with more frequent drought and bushfires. Extreme weather events will become more severe and impact most heavily on the most vulnerable in our community,” Mr Corbell said.
“It is clear that actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to future climate changes require close collaboration between the ACT Government and Canberra community.”
The Community Engagement Strategy on Climate Change sets out how the ACT Government will build an ongoing dialogue with the community on climate change and make sustainability information readily available to the community, households, schools and businesses.
The strategy will increase information sharing between all stakeholders including individuals, community groups, researchers and government officials. This will be achieved via a public awareness campaign with up-to-date information on climate change science and work the ACT Government is doing to reduce our emissions as well as support adaption to a changing climate. A central web-based sustainability portal will be developed to facilitate access to this information.
“It also recognises the importance of developing partnerships with key sectors — households, community organisations and schools, business and industry, knowledge brokers, the wider region and governments — because climate change mitigation and adaptation requires a collective effort.”
Mr Corbell today also provided an update on the government’s progress in implementing actions under the ACT Government’s climate change strategy and action plan, AP2.
As a result of the climate change strategy and action plan:
• Electricity retailers have successfully implemented energy saving activities in more than 18,000 households.
• A survey of community attitudes towards climate change and the role of ACT Government in addressing climate change has been completed, with 88% of respondents agreeing that climatechange is a genuine problem for the future and 81% agreeing that ACT Government should take a strong leadership role to help residents tackle climate change.
• A Low Emission Vehicle Strategy has been developed and is currently out for community consultation.
• An innovative reverse auction process has delivered the best value for money in the procurement of renewable energy from three solar photovoltaic farms that together will generate about 78,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year (equivalent to the electricity needs of about 10,000 households)
• A Wind Auction for an additional 200 MW is underway and community solar proposals for 1MW of feed-in-tariff are currently being taken.
ACT Climate Change Council chair, Professor Barbara Norman, commended the ACT Government’s progress in taking action on climate change.
“I congratulate the Minister on the work of the ACT Government to address climate change and the leadership it has shown at a national level on this issue,” Professor Norman said.
Further information on the Community Engagement Strategy on Climate Change and on the ACT’s progress to address climate change in the territory can be found at www.environment.act.gov.au