The Greens’s Shane Rattenbury has announced the Green’s preferred path to reaching the ACT’s stated target of cutting greenhouse emissions by 40% in the next 8 years.
Of the 5 options outlined, the Greens favour Pathway 2, which combines building efficiency measures, sustainable transport, energy-from-waste and renewable energy.
“Pathway 2 comes closest to delivering the kind of structural changes needed to ensure a sustainable future for Canberrans,” Greens climate change spokesperson, Shane Rattenbury MLA, said today.
Commenting on the remaining four pathways, the Greens cautioned against over-reliance upon carbon offsetting and gas.
“Current offset markets are highly volatile and don’t deliver long-term structural change. It is ludicrous to suggest that we should meet our mitigation goals by offsetting alone, yet one of the Government’s proposed pathways does just that.
“As for gas, the Greens are concerned about the rise in gas’ popularity catalysing an increase in the environmentally damaging practice of coal seam gas (CSG) extraction.
“Gas features prominently in the strategy, but there is no mention of how the gas would be sourced. With the rapid growth of the CSG industry, and the serious questions it raises, the environmental benefits of gas are not as clear cut as many people think.
“No-one seems to have clicked that gas facilities’ 30-40 pay-back times are not compatible with ambitious 2020 cuts. Compare this with wind, which could become a zero-cost fuel within the next decade.
“Renewables are also not being given their full glory in any of the options. We have great potential for local large-scale and distributed renewable energy generation yet the Government seems to prefer gas.”
As such, the Greens are encouraging the Government to consider increasing its Renewable Energy Target to stimulate greater local renewable generation.
The Greens’ full submission is available.