Tasmania aims for 100% renewables by 2020, joins The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance

26 November 2013

WARSAW: Today the Australian state of Tasmania announced it will aim for 100% renewable energy by 2020, days after committing to join The Climate Group as one of our States and Regions members during COP19 in Warsaw.

The Tasmanian Government's new plan to help combat and adapt to climate change, Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy, sets a target for Tasmania to be using renewable energy for 100% of its power needs by 2020 -- and exporting the surplus. The plan also includes a new interim 2020 target to reduce carbon emissions to 35% below 1990 levels.

The plan was unveiled by Cassy O’Connor, Climate Change Minister, Tasmanian Government, who said: “It’s the most comprehensive plan by any Australian Government to reduce carbon emissions and help communities adapt to a changing climate, built on more than a year of careful research and consultation. With a climate denialist government in Canberra determined to wind back Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions, it’s more important than ever that Tasmania shows leadership. We’re already making great progress.

“Our leadership on climate action was recognized last week at the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, where Tasmania was accepted into the prestigious global non-profit, The Climate Group. Warsaw delegates heard about Tasmania’s clean Hydro power, protected carbon rich forests and heavy focus on energy efficiency for households. From today, with the Climate Smart strategy for 2020, that effort goes up a notch."

Last week Tasmania was formally confirmed as a member of the The Climate Group's States and Regions Alliance at a side-event at COP19, where sub-national government members set out the high levels of ambition and actions that are already reducing emissions and supporting low carbon development in their respective regions. At the event, discussion was focused on leveraging the leadership of states and regions to encourage and support greater ambition by national governments.

“Our admission to The Climate Group is a strong endorsement of the Tasmanian Government’s action to reduce emissions and protect our community’s future," Cassy O’Connor, stated. "Tasmania’s membership of The Climate Group is an opportunity to work with a coalition of states, cities, companies and public figures to further enhance our clean, green, low-carbon brand."

In welcoming Tasmania to it States and Regions network, The Climate Group recognizes that:

  • Almost 90% of Tasmania’s energy is already from renewable sources.
  • Since 2010, the Tasmanian Government has invested almost $18 million to provide 9,500 energy efficiency upgrades for low-income households and small businesses.
  • Tasmania has a statutory target to reduce emissions to at least 60% below 1990 levels by 2050, and has already achieved emission reductions of about 34% against the 1990 baseline.
  • In 2011-12 alone, the Tasmanian Government reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions by almost 13%.

Libby Ferguson, States and Regions Director, The Climate Group, welcomes the new membership: “We endorse the leadership shown by the Tasmanian Government, which is not only setting ambitious targets but also implementing substantial programs to reduce emissions, promote energy efficiency and boost renewable energy. The Tasmanian Government joins an Alliance of some of the largest and most ambitious States and Regions globally, who consistently demonstrate, through firm commitments and action on the ground, that low carbon development is possible and prosperous. We welcome Tasmania to the States and Regions Alliance of The Climate Group and look forward to working with Tasmania to support their low carbon ambition.” 

Read Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy

Related news:

COP19: Businesses and sub-national governments are making the real progress

The world's top 10 countries for climate action are all in Europe

Sub-national governments are the rising stars of climate action at COP19

Image by KeresH

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