29 Nov, 2015

Adelaide leads on reducing carbon emissions ahead of Paris Conference

Premier Jay Weatherill and Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide Martin Haese have today signed an agreement to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city.

The signing occurred ahead of today’s People’s Climate March – occurring in cities across the world this weekend - and coincides with the release of the South Australian Government’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050.

Mr Weatherill said the agreement between City of Adelaide and the State Government sends a strong message to the world about South Australia’s climate change credentials ahead of the Paris Climate Conference this week.

“We are committed to making the City of Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city, and I am delighted to have finalised this Agreement formally today with the Lord Mayor,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Our partnership aims to reap the economic opportunities likely to flow from moving first, and shows the government and council share the vision of a vibrant and sustainable capital city, leading renewable energy uptake and clean technology investment.

“We want to encourage investors to our forward-thinking State, and in turn create jobs and opportunities for South Australians.”

Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide Martin Haese said it was an exciting time, with Council recently endorsing its Carbon Neutral Strategy 2015-2025 which includes carbon neutrality for the city.

“Our strong partnership will focus on increasing demand for renewable energy, building green industries, increasing resource efficiency, improving waste management and moving to cleaner modes of transport,” Mr Haese said.

“By working together we can capitalise on the multitude of opportunities that can come from a lowcarbon economy.”

Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter said the City of Adelaide is estimated to generate more than one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, with commercial buildings and transport sectors the largest contributors, adding 43 and 35 per cent respectively to the emissions total.

“We already have a strong base to start from with carbon emissions reducing in the city by 20 per cent since 2007,” Mr Hunter said.

“We invite businesses which want to innovate for a carbon neutral future to come to Adelaide and work with us to achieve our ambitious goals.”

Premier Jay Weatherill said at the centre of the Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 is a bold and ambitious target for the State to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“The world is acting to limit carbon pollution and preparing for a low-carbon economy,” he said.

“If we are to limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees, we must move to net zero emissions by 2050, and maximise the economic and job opportunities a low-carbon world presents.

Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said the new Climate Change Strategy sets a framework for renewed effort and action.

“The new Strategy builds on the leadership that has been demonstrated by industry, the community and government since South Australia took early and decisive action in 2007 and introduced the nation’s first climate change legislation,” he said.

“Our greenhouse gas emissions are down 9 per cent on 1990 levels as the economy has grown 60 per cent – showing the world it’s possible to reduce emissions and grow the economy – and since 2003 there has been a $6.6 billion investment in renewable energy.”

Premier’s Climate Change Council (PCCC) Chair, Bruce Carter commended the new Climate Change Strategy, stating it responds the PCCC’s Pathways to 2050 vision for South Australia to be a low carbon, resilient economy by 2050, as well as the independent Expert Panel report, released last Wednesday.

The Paris conference may be the most critical climate change meeting in history, as it aims to secure an international climate agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Other initiatives outlined in the Climate Change Strategy include:

  • Continuing to support renewable energy in the State, with a target to generate 50 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025
  • Investigating potential new renewable energy options for the State
  • A range of initiatives to improve government’s own operations, including improving the energy efficiency of government buildings, decarbonising government’s electricity supply and reducing emissions from the government fleet
  • Supporting the deployment and uptake of energy storage options
  • Supporting a hybrid-electric car share project
  • Increasing Adelaide’s green infrastructure

The new South Australian Climate Change Strategy, Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy 2015- 2050 is available at www.environment.sa.gov.au/climatechange