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As Premier and Minister for Climate Change I recognise climate change is an important issue. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild a stronger Tasmania, my Government is committed to taking practical action on climate change.
It is important Tasmania has a robust and practical action plan to respond to climate change, and manage the challenges and opportunities it presents. This Opportunities Paper is intended to help you provide written input as we develop the next climate change action plan for Tasmania.
Tasmania has an impressive record on climate action. In 2015, we were the first Australian jurisdiction to achieve net zero emissions and we have achieved this commitment four years in a row. The latest figures show we have the lowest emissions per person in the country.
Our State is now 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy and continues to lead Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy. This includes a commitment to generate 200 per cent of our energy needs from renewable energy by 2040, and fast-tracking a renewable hydrogen industry in Tasmania.
Tasmania is also fortunate to have world-class climate science capability and detailed climate change projections to inform our decisions.
These characteristics enhance our brand and competitiveness, both nationally and internationally, and put Tasmania in the best positon to take advantage of opportunities as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.
Despite our strong advantages, Tasmania is not immune to the impacts of a changing climate. In the past five years we have seen extreme flooding, fires, drought, biosecurity concerns and marine heatwaves. These events have had an environmental, economic and social impact on government, business, communities and households.
Extreme weather events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity over time. As the world moves to a low carbon economy there are increasing risks and opportunities associated with that transition.
This transition will require commitment, innovation and leadership. Moving toward a climate positive Tasmania is an economic, social, and cultural opportunity for Tasmania.
Since 2017, Tasmania’s action on climate change has been guided by Climate Action 21: Tasmania’s Climate Change Action Plan 2017-2021 (Climate Action 21), which was developed in consultation with the community.
In the last five years we have made significant progress on climate change action. We have:
Climate Action 21 is due to conclude in 2021, so now is the time to build on our achievements to develop a new five-year climate change action plan for Tasmania.
Your contribution is vital as we develop the next Climate Action Plan and I encourage all Tasmanians, including individuals, non-government organisations, business and industry, academia, and government, to have your say on this important issue.
Hon Peter Gutwein MP
Minister for Climate Change