Tasmania continues to lead the way when it comes to taking action to reduce our emissions, increase renewable energy and fight climate change.
As part of this action, an independent review of the Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 has been undertaken.
Any new target must be based on both science and economics and today I have released the results of an economic analysis I commissioned last year to examine the opportunities to reduce emissions and the impact on industry and jobs of a more ambitious emissions reduction target.
Independent consultants, Point Advisory, considered the emissions reduction opportunities for our island state, and worked to develop a best-fit emissions reduction pathway, comprising 16 technically and economically-feasible emissions reduction opportunities that aligned with existing Government policy.
The best-fit emissions reduction pathway sees Tasmania comfortably maintain net zero emissions through to 2050 and the analysis demonstrates that a 2030 target – as proposed by the Independent Review – is credible and achievable.
The second piece of work is an economic impact analysis of the best-fit emissions reduction pathway, undertaken by experts at Victoria University, skilled in economy-wide CGE modelling.
It found that in 2050, under the best-fit pathway, Tasmania’s economy is likely to be larger with more jobs than it would be under business-as-usual. By 2030, Gross State Product is modelled to be an additional $67 million higher, rising to $475 million by 2050. In 2050, the model demonstrates higher employment of 1,200 more Tasmanians compared to business-as-usual.
Importantly, the analysis shows that all industry divisions continue to grow under the emissions reduction pathway with the highest economic and employment growth in agriculture and forestry, with greater investment and increased productivity.
The analysis indicates that adopting a more ambitious target is both achievable and credible, and could generate higher economic growth and more jobs. It supports our establishment of Renewables, Climate and Future Industries Tasmania in the 2021-22 Tasmanian Budget, to ensure we capture the opportunities from our globally unique position.
Many industries and businesses have already adopted ambitious net zero emissions reductions targets and the most recent IPCC Report on climate change makes clear the necessity to act and for Tasmania to continue to do its bit.
We will now undertake further targeted consultation with business, industry and the community on an appropriate emissions reduction target for Tasmania.
We will work through the Review, and the expert economic analysis, in a sensible and responsible way, with a view to finalising consultation and introducing a new Act to Parliament this year.
The reports, including a summary report, will be made available online at climatechange.tas.gov.au