Tasmania announces its plan for net zero emissions by 2030

Tasmania has announced it will mandate a state target of net zero emissions by 2030 after reviewing the state’s climate policies.

Premier Peter Gutwein said his state would move to introduce the net zero target into law, which will make it the first to legislate a zero emissions target this early.

The legislation will largely be a formality after the state has hit the target every year since 2015.

Image: The Examiner

“Tasmania is a climate leader and stands on its own in this country having achieved net zero emissions in six of the last seven years,” Gutwein said in a statement.

Under the proposed laws, Tasmania will produce a Climate Action Plan and risk assessment concerning the climate every 5 years, while also ensuring policies consider climate change.

The government stopped short of mandating a reduction in emissions by sector – a recommendation by the majority of organisations who made public submissions on the plan.

The Bob Brown Foundation has vowed it will watch over the government’s climate plan and ensure that the plans are both created and followed, while also being critical of the announcement. The Foundation believes that it exaggerates the state’s actual climate situation while ignoring destructive practices.

We are at net zero in Tasmania because [timber giant] Gunns collapsed,” Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said.

Tasmania’s largest logging company, Gunns, collapsed in 2013, allowing negative emissions to become possible due to a significant decline in land clearing and deforestation.

Climate Change Minister Roger Jaensch said his government’s net zero target was “achievable and feasible for Tasmania” and was being supported by major industries.

However, Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff criticised the plan as “cynical” and “non-actionable” given the state had first reached the target in 2015. 

Your government crowed about reaching net zero back then, in the same year that you ripped up the Tasmanian forestry agreement legislation,” she said.

Tasmania has made some vast improvements in its climate approach. Last year it declared it was receiving 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, with the state’s hydroelectric power stations, in addition to its wind farms, producing enough electricity to meet the state’s needs.