ACT is a self-governing territory in Australia, containing Canberra, the country's capital city.
Simon Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, ACT said in a statement: “The ACT Government is already an international leader in renewable energy and today I am pleased to announce that we have committed to the strongest legislated target of 100% renewable energy within the next four years.”
Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group welcomes the announcement: “ACT have not only set an ambitious milestone for 100% renewables by 2020, they have been working for many years to drive policy innovation, demonstrate the art of the possible and create a more prosperous environment for citizens and businesses.”
To help meet its 100% target ACT will expand its renewable energy auction process from 109 megawatts (MW) to 200 MW.
The Minister expects the government to meet its previous 2020 target of 90% renewable energy this year and says ACT is already “reaping the environmental and economic benefits” of investing in clean energy. “Not only are we providing clean power for the people of Canberra, we are also delivering jobs and economic benefits by securing AUS$400 million in local investment through our reverse auction process.
“Taking the extra step to 100% at this time lets us take advantage of favorable market conditions to lock in great long-term prices for Canberrans.”
The Minister also says the ambitious 2020 target will show the region’s business sector that the government is committed to reducing emissions by investing in clean energy.
Libby Ferguson adds: “While we have seen many businesses coming forward with 100% renewables commitments through our RE100 campaign, it is should not be forgotten that state and territory governments are also driving the renewables transition. The sweet spot occurs when we are able to align clear business ambition with visionary policy.”
Both Australian Capital Territory and the state of South Australia are part of the Compact of States and Regions – the first dedicated global reporting mechanism for state and regional governments to showcase and analyze their climate goals.
A total of 44 governments around the world, equaling 12.5% of the global economy and representing 325 million citizens, currently report to the Compact – which has just opened its 2016 reporting period.
Governments reporting to the Compact this year must submit their climate data by Friday July 15, 2016.