ACT News

Coal power threatens the safety of humanity: Simon Corbell

Coal-fired generation poses a direct threat to the safety of humanity and a landmark UN report on climate change confirms the ACT's course of action to achieve renewable energy levels of 90 per cent, according to ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell.

Increasing renewables worldwide to 90 per cent by 2100 as part of a phased elimination of fossil fuels is a key recommendation of the final report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Low-carbon future: coal-fired generation poses a direct threat to the safety of humanity, says  ACT Environment Minister ...
Low-carbon future: coal-fired generation poses a direct threat to the safety of humanity, says ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell. Photo: Martin Meissner

The ACT government's renewable energy target is 90 per cent by 2020.

Mr Corbell said a transition to a low-carbon future where coal played a much-reduced part was essential.

"No doubt, the IPCC report confirms the need to dramatically reduce fossil fuel generation for our electricity supply that's basically their key recommendation," he said.

"We need to decarbonise our economy and we need to do that through a switch to renewable energy.

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"That's why here in Canberra we have a 90 per cent renewable energy target, it's why we're supporting the deployment of solar." 

Mr Corbell said in coming months the ACT government would be announcing new wind farm projects as part of the shift to a low-carbon future and Canberra playing its part in addressing climate change.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said the IPCC report vindicates the government's $2.5 billion Direct Action policy and plan to reduce carbon emissions by five per cent by 2020.

But Mr Corbell disagreed.

"We have a former [John] Howard adviser Geoffrey Cousins saying it's a Micky Mouse policy, that really is very concerning and sentiments I'd have to agree with," he said.

"The critical thing for the ACT and Australia is to recognise that while we have some good points in Direct Action it's simply not going to meet the objectives that we need as a community, as a nation, to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."