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Climate Action 21: Tasmania’s Climate Change Action Plan 2017-2021 (Climate Action 21) is due to conclude in 2021.
Now is the time to reflect on what we have achieved, what has changed since Climate Action 21 was released, and what action we can take to continue to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.
The new action plan will guide the Tasmanian Government’s response to climate change for the next five years.
To develop the next action plan we will build on the themes and outcomes of Climate Action 21 and:
The purpose of this Opportunities Paper is to inform individuals and organisations about Tasmania’s climate change action and help you prepare written submissions as we develop the next climate change action plan for Tasmania, to:
We encourage submissions from a broad range of stakeholders, including individuals, non-government organisations, business and industry, academia, and government. This inclusive feedback is essential, because all sectors and communities will be affected by the changing climate.
This year, the Tasmanian Government is also conducting an independent review of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 (the Act).
The Act sets the Tasmanian Government’s legislative framework for action on climate change, including establishing Tasmania’s emissions reduction target.
Tasmania has achieved our target of net zero emissions by 2050 for four years in a row, so a key focus of the review will be the evidence and feedback on a more ambitious target.The review will also aim to strengthen our legislation and ensure it provides a sound foundation for our climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
A key legislative requirement of the independent review is consultation. A discussion paper is available for you to consider and send us your thoughts and ideas.The outcomes of the independent review of the Act will feed into the development of the new climate change action plan.
The Tasmanian Government has delivered the 37 actions under Climate Action 21 across the action plan’s six priority areas:
More information on the Tasmanian Government’s implementation of Climate Action 21 is available at: www.climatechange.tas.gov.au.
There have been many developments since Climate Action 21 was released in 2017.
In the last five years, Tasmania has experienced significant extreme climate and weather events. Scientific data and observations continue to affirm the scientific consensus that changes to the climate are occurring as a result of a warming planet.
There have also been national and international developments in response to climate change, with implications for governance of business, industry and government.
Technology and innovation also present new opportunities as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.
The response to climate change also needs to be considered in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with governments, businesses and communities working together to minimise impacts and recover.
The State of the Climate 2020 report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Bureau of Meteorology shows Australia is experiencing climate change now. Significant climatic changes in Australia are projected over the coming decades, including changes in extreme heat events, rainfall patterns, sea level rise, and extreme fire weather.
The report found Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.44 ± 0.24 ºC since national records began in 1910. It also found that despite the slow-down in global fossil fuel emissions of carbon dioxide from early 2020, which is largely due to travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be negligible impact in terms of slowing climate change.
In 2019, the Australian Government announced a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, to deliver on Australia’s 2030 Paris climate commitments.
The Package includes a $2 billion Climate Solutions Fund to be delivered over 15 years, which will partner with farmers, remote indigenous communities, and small businesses to deliver practical climate solutions across the economy that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2020, the Australian Government released the first annual Low Emissions Technology Statement, the first milestone in Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.
The Australian Government will invest around $18 billion in low emissions technologies through the Technology Investment Roadmap over the ten years to 2030.
The Low Emissions Technology Statement includes five priority technologies: clean hydrogen; long duration energy storage; low carbon steel and aluminium production; carbon capture and storage; and soil carbon. The Statement also highlights electric vehicles as emerging and enabling technologies.
The Australian Government has also released a National Hydrogen Strategy (2019) and is planning to release a national electric vehicle strategy.
Over the last five years, Tasmania has experienced two significant bushfire events, a record marine heatwave off the East Coast, prolonged drought creating energy security concerns and the introduction of staged water restrictions, and the worst statewide flooding seen in 40 years.
A number of new plans and strategies have been released in Tasmania that are relevant to climate change, including:
In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. Key findings:
There are increasing expectations from the community, and regulators and investors, that company directors (both public and private) publicly identify, report and manage relevant climate change risks, with potential legal liability if they don’t.
Since the establishment of the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures in 2015, there is growing evidence of climate-related financial and liability risk for government and business. This is being driven by key financial regulators, legal opinion and credit rating agencies.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also likely to have an impact on local, state and international action on climate change, as governments work to respond and recover.
There is an opportunity for climate change to be considered in economic and social recovery from COVID-19. This includes opportunities to invest in renewable energy projects, sustainable and green infrastructure, low emissions transport options, energy efficiency, and a focus on circular economy models. There is an opportunity for long-term economic stimulus packages that promote future growth and development, to incorporate low emissions objectives and consideration of climate change.