How the ACT government will be carbon neutral by 2020

By The Mandarin

August 25, 2014

The ACT government has released a detailed plan for its own operations to be carbon neutral by 2020.

Simon Corbell.
Simon Corbell.

Environment Minister Simon Corbell launched the Carbon Neutral ACT government framework last week, pointing out that the territory government currently contributes about 5% of the ACT’s carbon dioxide pollution.

The ACT has the most ambitious climate change policies in the nation, which include having the whole of the territory carbon neutral by 2060.

By 2020, Canberra’s local politicians want 90% of the ACT’s energy to come from renewable sources and a reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions of 40% on 1990 levels, as well as a carbon neutral government. Corbell said in a statement:

“Our first step will be to track the energy performance of government buildings by measuring, monitoring and reporting on our greenhouse gas emissions using the ACT Government Enterprise Sustainability Platform. This platform provides site-by-site energy use data across the entire ACT Government.

“We will also minimise our carbon footprint by implementing mitigation measures with a focus on increasing energy efficiency.”

The ACT government now employs two energy efficiency officers to help its bureaucrats cut power use. Corbell cites the example of Belconnen Library, which cut electricity use by 29% and gas use by 30% by reprogramming its heating and cooling system.

The ACTSmart Government Energy and Water Program also provides ACT directorates with tailored energy and water efficiency advice and assistance. As of June this year the program had assessed more than 107,000 square metres of floor space over 53 ACT government sites.

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