Zero Emissions – Canberra

The Conservation Council is continuing to engage with the ACT Government on developing a good process for community consultation on getting to zero net greenhouse gas emissions.

All political parties in the Legislative Assembly – Liberals, Labor, Greens – support this goal. We need to take this high-level party political agreement and build genuine community engagement so that we reduce our greenhouse emissions in a fair, shared, fast and effective manner with people understanding how and why steps will be taken.

There should be a place for community organisations – like the Conservation Council and many others such as ACT Council of Social Services, Unions ACT and the Canberra Business Chamber – to be involved in developing and obtaining community engaagement on measures.

Minister Rattenbury has established the Climate Change Ministerial Advisory Group (CCMAG) to meet for the first time 16 November. The Minister’s invitation says:

I am establishing a Climate Change Ministerial Advisory Group (CCMAG) to provide a mechanism for community organisations and businesses to provide input to me from their sectors and member groups as we develop the pathway to net zero emissions. The CCMAG will also be an avenue for communication from Government through CCMAG members to their respective organisations.

The Minister’s intentions seem good – it will be interesting to see how officials react. The ACT Government has already obtained consultants’ reports on emissions from various sectors and is preparing a discussion paper without broad community engagement.

The ACT Government is also seeking economic modelling on emissions reduction options to help develop a new climate change strategy and action plan to 2050. The Conservation Council has provided feedback that one useful approach might be a model where measures would be assessed for the amount of emissions that would be obtained against the overall cost of the measure as in this example for Australia as a whole.

Developing a similar model for Canberra to take account of our main greenhouse gas emissions would allow different measures to be compared and then also be considered for their fairness, likelihood of uptake and overall benefit.

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