Emissions Reduction Targets

Set emissions reductions targets: 60 percent by 2020, 100 percent by 2050.

Step 1) A Carbon-Neutral State by 2050 - with a year-by-year roadmap

Action: The Tasmanian Government must commit to the long term goal of becoming a carbon neutral State by 2050; that is, to generate no net emissions by that year. At the same time, action is required in the short term. Therefore the Government must also set a target of 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 over 1990 levels. Achieving these targets demands a clear, detailed and comprehensive plan with annual targets from 2010 onwards and annual public reporting so that progress can be monitored. Implementation of this plan must be consistent with the Just Transitions strategy below.

Rationale: To achieve a safe climate, in which concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere fall to 350ppm or below in line with the best available science, global emissions must peak by 2015 and decline by at least 80% by 2050. Emissions in Tasmania have already fallen by 24% since 1990 - at least as measured by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory - and therefore the task is to ensure that they never again rise, but rather continue to fall at an accelerated rate. With economic and population growth, and increasing reliance on fossil fuels for our power generation as well as transportation, this outcome cannot be assumed. A detailed and comprehensive plan is required, including annual reduction targets and ensuring transparency through annual public reporting.

Tasmania, with its renewable energy and forestry resources, has the potential to become not only carbon-neutral, but even carbon-positive as a State, sequestering emissions and producing renewable energy for export to the mainland. Such a strategy would position Tasmania as a truly global leader in climate change, attracting clean development, jobs and tourism. It will also require the nurturing of our tertiary and research institutions and innovative, low-carbon businesses, helping to position the State to participate actively in the sustainable, low-carbon economic development of the 21st Century.