ACT Government recognised as a global sustainability leader

Canfan 24 September 2014

The ACT Government’s commitment to sustainability has received further international recognition with Environment Minister, Simon Corbell, being invited by the Danish Prime Minister, Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt, to attend the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF 2014) in Copenhagen from October 20-21.

Mr Corbell was one of just four Australians to receive an invitation to be among 250 influential people from across the world who will discuss the theme “Changing production and consumption patterns through transformative action”.

“I thank the Danish Prime Minister for this invitation, it is a great honour to be able to attend this prestigious forum,” Mr Corbell said.

“I look forward to sharing the ACT Government’s vision for a sustainable future at the forum.

“This is a great opportunity to discuss the ACT’s world-leading actions and ambitions on sustainability and climate change with this select group of high-level decision makers from governments, global corporations, leading international organisations and civil society.”

It is the second major international environmental conference invitation for Mr Corbell this year, following an invitation to speak at the 4th Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability – 4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities, in Hong Kong earlier in October.

The 3GF 2014 forum will focus on a number of sustainability issues including energy efficiencies in buildings, sustainable urbanisation, land use and restoration and water resource management.

The ACT is a leading the way among Australian governments with a target of 90% renewable energy by 2020, which will play a major part reaching the territory’s goal of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The ACT Government has made significant steps in the path to those goals recently with the opening of the Royalla large-scale 20MW solar farm, development approval being granted for a second large scale solar farm and the closure of the reverse auction for 200MW of wind energy, which attracted 18 bids from 15 bidders.

“Our 90% renewable energy target is ambitious but we are proving it is also achievable and affordable,” Mr Corbell said.

“The cost of achieving this target is estimated to be about $4 per week per household, which will be offset by savings of $4 per household per week from mandated energy efficiency schemes.

“As well as encouraging the use of renewables, the ACT Government is also improving sustainability with policies to reduce emissions, improve public transport and encourage more sustainable land use through urban infill.”

The Carbon Neutral Government Framework sets out a path to achieving carbon neutrality in ACT government operations by 2020. The government has already invested $4.6 million in initiatives since December 2012.

The government is also improving public transport in the territory by this month committing to the first stage of a light rail network that will not only reduce congestion on Canberra’s busiest transport corridor but will also encourage more sustainable land use.

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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