Queensland releases climate response strategies

The Queensland Government has released its key climate change response policies, the Queensland Climate Transition Strategy and the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy, joining Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory in setting a zero net emissions by 2050 target,

The Queensland Climate Transition Strategy, titled Pathways to a clean growth economy, outlines the route for Queensland to achieve zero net emissions by 2050, and an interim target for at least a 30% reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030,

Queensland is Australia’s highest emitting jurisdiction–responsible for 28% of national emissions and around 0.3% of global emissions.

In the first stage of the two-stage Transition Strategy, Queensland will take actions over the next three years including de-carbonising our energy sector (the biggest emitter), and for government to drive zero net emissions targets through its decision making.

Amongst the actions identified in the Transition Strategy are:

  • 1 million Solar Rooftops or 3000 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) by 2020.

  • Develop a Demand Management and Energy Efficiency Strategy

  • Developing an Electric Vehicle Strategy to prepare Queensland for the transition to electric vehicles.

  • Supporting carbon farming in regional and remote Indigenous communities through capacity building, recognising Indigenous benefits, and offsetting government emissions with Aboriginal carbon credits.

  • Commitment to improve the sustainability performance of Queensland’s commercial, residential and government buildings through the Queensland Building Plan.

  • Demonstrate leadership by reducing emissions from Queensland Government operations

  • Integrate zero net emissions goals into state infrastructure planning

  • Explore options to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Environmental Protection Act framework

  • Reintroduce comprehensive vegetation management legislation

  • Engage with the start-up community to promote Zero Emissions Innovation In Action

  • Partner with Climate-KIC to harness climate change innovation

  • Before 2020, the Queensland Government will also investigate the development of a Climate Change Act similar to those in other jurisdictions.

Progress will be reviewed in 2019 to identify a broader policy framework for Queensland’s post-2020 action.

Expert advice will be provided by the Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC), also drawing on additional expertise through the Queensland Climate Adaptation Partners group and Queensland’s Carbon and Industry Network.

The Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy, titled Pathways to a climate resilient Queensland, was developed in consultation with the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS) Partners group comprising leaders from industry, community, and research sectors.

Amongst actions to be undertaken under the Strategy are:

  • development of a Government Adaptation Action Plan (GAAP) that will provide a coordinated whole-of-government response to climate risks and opportunities. Each Queensland Government agency will undertake a detailed climate risk assessment and either develop a specific adaptation action plan to address priority climate risks, or incorporate climate adaptation actions into existing plans and risk frameworks. The GAAP will be completed in 2017-18 and reviewed every three years.

  • Fund 32 councils to develop local government climate adaptation plans through the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils program.

  • The QCoast2100 program will support enhanced coastal hazard adaptation planning in up to 45 councils.

  • Support Indigenous local councils to complete climate adaptation planning as part of a wider climate change program for remote communities.

  • Development of Sector Adaptation Plans (SAPs) for the following sectors: Human health and wellbeing; Biodiversity and ecosystems; Tourism; Small and medium business; Industry and resources—manufacturing, mining, energy and supporting services; Agriculture; Built environment and infrastructure; and Emergency services.

The Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy is available here.

The Queensland Climate Transition Strategy is available here.

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