ACT pledges to rapidly phase out coal

coal phase out, fossil fuel

The ACT has committed to rapidly phase out coal power by joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance, becoming the first Australian government to do so.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury says by signing the alliance, the ACT continues to drive climate action, delivering on transition to a cleaner, greener energy future.

“It also furthers our goals of achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and zero net emissions by 2045 – two of the most ambitious climate targets in the world,” he says.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance now counts 74 members, including 29 national governments, 17 subnational governments and 28 businesses. In 2017, the Federal Government declined joining the alliance.

Related article:IPCC targets require Australia to close 12 coal stations

“It’s staggering that 40 percent of the world’s electricity is still powered through coal fuel,” Mr Rattenbury says. “Carbon pollution is a leading contributor to climate change and rising sea levels, and its effects on human health through air pollution is a leading cause of respiratory disease.”

The ACT’s announcement comes days after the IPCC released findings that current national commitments will not keep us to less than a +1.5 degree rise in global temperatures.

The ACT government has pledged its support to the Pacific Islands in the wake of these findings, with Mr Rattenbury stating we are facing a “climate change emergency and there is no time to lose”.

“Pacific nations are some of the most impacted countries in the world from the threats of climate change with countries like Fiji directly impacted by rising sea levels and more destructive storms as the oceans warm.

“It is an honour today to be joined by Fijian High Commissioner His Excellency Luke Daunivalu. The ACT is proud to stand with our Pacific neighbours in the fight against a warming climate.

“The stance of the current Federal Government is to knowingly turn a blind eye to climate science. That is what makes it so morally reprehensible – they have the information, they just choose to ignore it.

“While the Federal Government refuses to act in humanity’s best interests, the ACT remains a committed partner in the fight against a warming climate.”

Related article:IPCC report issues stark warning on climate change