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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Response to the Review: Recommendation 3

That the Act is amended to require State agencies and Departments to consider the target, objects and proposed principles of the Act in relation to relevant decisions. Specifically, decisions should consider:

  • Risks from climate change; and
  • Implications for the State’s emissions and potential to achieve Tasmania’s legislated emissions target.

Response: Support in principle

The Independent Review recommends that the Act is amended to require Tasmanian Government agencies to consider the Act in relation to relevant decisions. This means that decisions would need to take climate changes risks into account and consider potential impacts on the State’s emissions.

The Independent Review found that there is scope for improved linkages between climate change and key policy areas such as population growth, land use planning and energy. The review highlights examples of other jurisdictions that have used their legislation to support consideration of climate change in government decision making.

The Tasmanian Government acknowledges the importance of considering climate change in our decision making. For example, climate change projections and impacts should be considered in making long-term decisions around assets and infrastructure.

Climate change is one of many considerations agencies must take into account when making decisions. Agencies need to consider climate change alongside other factors such as community wellbeing and economic growth.

It is important to note that Tasmania has achieved strong economic outcomes while keeping emissions low. In 2014, Tasmania’s greenhouse gas emissions, excluding the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector, were 8.1 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is the same level as in 1990. Over this period, Tasmania’s Gross State Product has increased by 58 per cent. This shows a decoupling of the historical link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. This trend is more significant when the emissions sink provided by the LULUCF sector is included.

There are a number of ways to ensure climate change is considered in government decision making. The Tasmanian Climate Change Office will work with all government agencies to determine the best way to support climate change consideration in decision making, using the objects and proposed principles of the Act.