Explainer: A guide to the ACT’s emissions targets and progress


The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has one of the lowest emissions profiles in Australia, largely due to its small size and recent investments in renewable energy.

Emissions Trend Over the Last Decade

The ACT has seen a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade, driven by a shift towards 100% renewable electricity.

Comparison with Other States and Territories

Compared to other Australian states and territories, the ACT has a much lower total emissions volume but maintains a strong commitment to reducing its already low per capita emissions further.

ACT Emissions Reduction Targets

The ACT has set ambitious targets, aiming for a 50-60% reduction in emissions by 2025 from 1990 levels, and reaching net-zero emissions by 2045.

Alignment with National and International Goals

The ACT's targets surpass Australia's national commitments, positioning the territory as a leader in climate action and aligning closely with aggressive international climate goals.

Is ACT on Track to Hit Its Targets?

With the achievement of 100% renewable electricity, the ACT is well-positioned to meet its near-term emissions reduction targets and is actively working towards its net-zero goal.

Key Sectors Contributing to Emissions in ACT

Transportation now emerges as the leading source of emissions in the ACT, following the transition to renewable energy for electricity.

Characteristics Impacting Emissions and Climate Policies

The ACT's urban environment, high standard of living, and compact size influence its emissions profile and enable more centralized climate policy initiatives.

Key Policies to Achieve Emissions Reduction Targets

  • Renewable Energy: The ACT has achieved 100% renewable electricity supply through wind and solar investments.
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs): Policies include rebates for EV purchases, investment in charging infrastructure, and transitioning government fleets to electric.

Challenges in Meeting Future Emissions Reduction Targets

The main challenge now lies in reducing emissions from the transport sector, including transitioning public and private transport to low-emission alternatives.

Unique Opportunities for Meeting Future Emissions Reduction Targets

The ACT's leadership in renewable energy provides a platform for innovation in other sectors, such as electrifying public transport and enhancing energy efficiency in buildings.

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