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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Emissions reductions across all sectors

The land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector, particularly the forest management sub-sector, has played an important role in achieving Tasmania’s current emissions status. Between 1990 and 2014, the LULUCF sector has gone from being a major source of Tasmania’s emissions to operating as a carbon sink.

The Independent Review identifies a number of factors that could influence changes in this sector and impact on Tasmania’s emissions profile in the future. This includes changes in forestry practices, market factors and climate-related risks like bushfire.

Submissions made to the discussion paper said that Tasmania should not rely solely on LULUCF and the forest management sub-sector to achieve our target. Although LULUCF presents a considerable advantage for Tasmania in current conditions, the submissions acknowledged a need to take action to reduce emissions in other sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and transport.

The Tasmanian Government accepts that LULUCF cannot be relied on as our sole source of emissions abatement in achieving zero net emissions. In addition to the risks to the sector outlined by Jacobs, there may be future changes to the accounting methodology which may negatively influence our emissions profile.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to building a contemporary, sustainable forestry sector that supports our emissions profile through carbon sequestration in forests and wood products, substituting timber for more emissions-intensive building materials and is looking to emerging technologies in biofuel to reduce fossil fuel use.

The Tasmanian Government has committed $1.25 million to establish the new Wood and Fibre Processing Innovation Program. Grants of up to $100,000 will be made available to support the development of projects that use forest harvesting and timber processing residues and/or agricultural plant residues to create value-added products in Tasmania. We have recently announced $250,000 in funding to help complete a feasibility study into a plantation fibre-only wood pellet plant in Tasmania. If successful, this project would create jobs, introduce a new export market, and put Tasmania at the forefront of new renewable energy markets.

In addition the Tasmanian Government is developing a policy to encourage locally sourced timber to be used in more Government projects as a result of recent changes to the National Construction Code. This new policy will promote a shift towards local timber for construction, interior design and daily living uses rather than more emissions intensive building materials such as steel and concrete.

However, an all-sector approach need to be taken to reduce our emissions if we are to achieve our target of zero net emissions by 2050. Practical action across all sectors can have a number of benefits beyond emissions reduction, including increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved health and wellbeing outcomes for vulnerable Tasmanians.

The Tasmanian Government is supporting a number of programs aimed at reducing emissions across all sectors. This includes:

  • $10 million TEELS, that will provide no-interest loans to households and small businesses to install energy efficient equipment and appliances;
  • NILS and YES programs supported by Aurora Energy, which assist low-income Tasmanians to purchase energy efficient heating appliances, home insulation, block-out curtains and pelmets;
  • Aged care energy efficiency initiative, which included a review of energy usage for 11 residential aged care facilities and suggestions for cost-effective energy efficiency improvements;
  • Smarter Fleets project, which has improved light vehicle fleet efficiency in six fleets across Tasmanian Government agencies, Government Business Enterprises and local government by approximately 11 per cent;
  • Support for the Fert$mart program, which assists farmers to improve the efficiency of fertiliser use to reduce emissions and costs; and
  • An electric vehicle demonstration project with Tasmanian Government agencies and local government.

The Independent Review suggests a combination of measures should be pursued to reduce emissions. These measures also have the benefit of supporting growth and productivity. This includes the introduction of electric vehicles to Tasmanian roads, working with the agricultural sector to reduce emissions from livestock and nitrogen fertiliser, and adopting cost-effective energy efficiency measures across all sectors.