Water Week

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Benchmarks are now set at a flat rate per head for ACT GHG emissions until 2012

Posted by waterweek on 26 September 2007

The ACT Government’s greenhouse gas abatement scheme, when introduced, had targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per head from 2005 to 2007 that were now set at a flat rate per head until 2012, which meant that, given that the government was aiming for a population of 500,000 by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions from the ACT could continue to rise overall, said the Greens’ Dr Deb Foskey in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 23 August 2007.

Scheme “an impediment” to greenhouse gas trading scheme: Modelling had shown that to truly achieve emissions five per cent below 1990 levels, the benchmark should drop annually from its current 7.27 until it reached 5.85 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per head, Foskey said. She claimed that continuation of the greenhouse gas abatement scheme until 2012 was likely to be an impediment to moving towards a national and international trading scheme, but Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said: “Far from suggesting that the greenhouse gas abatement scheme that the ACT government has entered into in partnership with New South Wales is an impediment, I have always regarded it — and continue to regard it — as a move towards a national emissions trading scheme.”

Technical adjustment to overall benefit: “It is the only scheme or arrangement in Australia at the moment that shows any semblance of the need for us as a nation, and indeed the world, to adopt a trading regime,” Stanhope said. “It is a first step, and a very good first step. Some of the detail I will provide in relation to the question you ask will go to the impact that our adoption of the greenhouse gas abatement scheme has had here in the ACT. Certainly, as I indicated in a statement that I made on Tuesday, as a result of remodelling undertaken by the ICRC, there has been a rationing down of the effect of the ACT’s participation in the greenhouse gas abatement scheme within the ACT. That is a result of modelling which apportions a different level of population to the ACT vis-a-vis New South Wales. It is a technical adjustment. There is an adjustment down in the overall benefit.”

Very good start: “But even with the new arrangement, equation or ratio of population that has been attributed to the ACT as against New South Wales, the effect of our participation in the scheme in the last year — in the context of the credits granted — was the removal of about 43,000 cars from ACT roads over the course of the year,” Stanhope continued. “That is very significant. That will be repeated over this next year, and the year after, and the year after, until we get to the point where we as a nation embrace — and continue to participate in — a national emissions trading scheme. I regard it … as a very good set of first steps. It has had a significant impact in the context of its operation over these last two years.”

Emissions trading scheme: “I am pleased that the ACT government, along with the New South Wales government, has been able to participate — in the context of Australia — in the first attempts at an emissions trading scheme,” Stanhope said. “I acknowledge that it does not go as far as we all hope and expect. Of course, the states and the territories, in the absence of leadership and participation by the commonwealth, had committed to go it alone in relation to the development of a national emissions trading scheme. Our declared intent is that such a scheme will be up and operational by 2010.”

Reference: Jon Stanhope, Member for Ginninderra, Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts, Legislative Assembly for the ACT, ACT, 23 August 2007.

Erisk Net, 9/9/2007

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