Andrew Barr MLA ACT Chief Minister – President’s comment

As 2019 drew to a close, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) achieved its target of sourcing all of our electricity from 100 percent renewable energy. It is an achievement that highlights our position as a national leader in action against climate change.

Canberrans have been clear - they want their Territory government to act in the interests of people and the planet, and now every electric appliance plugged into a household socket is running on clean energy.

This, however, is just the start of the ACT’s efforts to reduce the Territory’s impact on our climate. We will also continue to work towards our target of zero net emissions by 2045 – a significant and nation-leading target.

Despite the unlikelihood of meaningful action on climate change at the national level (and this is not limited to Australia), we should be encouraged by the level of recognition and practical action among local governments.

The City of Adelaide will become a carbon neutral organisation this year and is aiming to be a carbon neutral community by 2025.

Brisbane is already the largest carbon neutral organisation in Australia; Melbourne is aiming for net zero emissions this year; Sydney has a community-wide emissions reduction target of 70 percent by 2030; and there are many, many other local governments achieving or working towards similar goals. What this shows is that while ideology and dogma may be prevailing in other political forums, local government in Australia has been and will continue to set the standard for taking meaningful and effective action on climate change.

Reaching our 100 percent renewable energy target was a significant moment, but more needs to be done and we will continue to invest more to protect our natural environment and reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

Through our world-leading transition to 100 percent renewable electricity we have demonstrated that our bold leadership can create opportunities for our region, in business development, training and education. Aside from delivering clean, green sources of electricity, our 100 percent renewable electricity target has attracted more than $500 million over 20 years in low carbon investment in the ACT.

Local governments are now far ahead of the Federal Government when it comes to the clean energy revolution — even though the Australian Parliament sits in a building that is powered by 100 percent renewable electricity right here in Canberra.