LEAD: The role of Government and sectors in taking action on climate change

The South Australian Government has been a leader in taking action to respond to climate change. In continuing to lead, the State can position itself to take advantage of opportunities from global action on climate change.

Download the LEAD consultation paper (PDF, 703KB)

Help shape South Australia's Climate Change Strategy by taking part in the discussion forum below. We want to know:

  • What does it mean to you for South Australia to be a leader in taking action to respond to climate change?

Comments closed

19 Oct 2015

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in the 'lead' discussion. This consultation has now closed.

Your feedback has been passed onto the Climate Change Team to consider in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA, which is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.

To stay informed, sign up to the Climate Change E-Newsletter at www.environment.sa.gov.au/climatechange

Thanks again for getting involved - your input is appreciated.

Regards, the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Sally C

18 Oct 2015

Congratulations on some significant achievements so far and thank you for the opportunity to comment on these consultation papers. Below are some comments on the strategy:
- Bipartisanship is an important compliment to long term climate policy
- Science based target setting is important based on the decrease required to limit warming to 2degC. Based on published information SA’s target, while ambitious, appears to be less than that required to limit warming to this amount (60% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 vs. 80% reduction on 1990 levels by 2050 for the Under2MOU).
- Setting shorter term targets is important to ensure the state continues to track along the reduction curve required to meet the 2050 target (60% on 1990). Consideration could also be given to developing short term ‘stretch’ targets equate to the reduction curve required to meet the more ambitious 80% reduction (on 1990 by 2050) which is more consistent with the current scientific recommendations.
- When making Government investment, policy changes, and introducing industry or household incentives, consideration should be given to emissions intensity, absolute emissions, longer term viability of industries, and ongoing benefits to the state. This includes current life of existing assets, potential emerging industries (local electric vehicle manufacturing has been mentioned by several other commenters), and the likely emissions trajectory in absence of policies. It is of little value making significant investments in industries which may be obsolete or may have much reduced capacity in 10-15 years. This will help to target Government investment and policy making in the areas which will see highest return in emissions reduction and other co-benefits to the state per dollar invested.
- It is not clear whether purchased offsets would be considered in meeting the state’s 2050 emissions target (as opposed to the Adelaide carbon neutrality commitment). While it is obvious that offsets will be required for Adelaide’s near term climate neutrality pledge, the use of purchased offsets for the longer term (and lower ambition) state target should be minimised wherever possible as they compromise the potential economic benefits for the state from renewable/alternative energy investments and other developing industries. The use of purchased offsets is also not a sustainable way of meeting an emissions target and many international offsets have issues of permanence and credibility.
- The deep decarbonisation pathways project has published a paper on how Australia could transition to a low emissions economy. The recommendations of this paper may be worth considering (if the PCCC has not already done so).
- Investment in improving public transport services (to increase reliability, frequency and where possible, speed) may need to be made before the demand justifies it. These are commonly cited barriers to using the current system.

Brett Murphy

16 Oct 2015

To the reader:

South Australia should take a leadership position at the upcoming UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris by arguing that emissions reduction targets should be based on the consumption of emissions instead of the current methodology which is based on the location of production of emissions.

It is widely known that existing global climate change mitigation policies and instruments - such as the Kyoto Protocol which applies to Annex I, or industrialised countries - have failed to reduce global CO2 (and equivalent) emissions (Helm, D., 'Climate-change policy: why has so little
been achieved?' Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 24, Number 2, 2008, pp.211–238).

Why is this so?

It is due to the framing of emissions as being those that are produced directly by/within a country's boundaries.
Note that emissions from certain sectors such as aviation and shipping are excluded due to the complex cross-boundary nature of their emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol is based upon the location of carbon production, not consumption, which conveniently places the burden of emissions reduction on those countries which produce energy-intensive goods, rather than those which consume them. This means that industrialised countries such as Australia that import goods (e.g. cars, whitegoods and electronics) and materials (e.g. steel, plastics, building and construction materials) from other countries (e.g. China) have effectively exported the production of emissions to third party countries.

Whilst carbon-producing countries such as China are implementing targets to reduce emissions, a proportion of these emissions are ultimately caused by the production of goods and materials consumed by other countries.

Given South Australia's extremely impressive track record of going beyond previous targets, it should advocate for state / national / international targets that are:
- based on the point of consumption of emissions, instead of production
- based on consumption of carbon per capita.

This would also dovetail neatly with the Contract and Converge principle proposed by the Global Commons Institute in 1990 which would allow a short period of increased carbon emissions by "carbon producing" countries (e.g. to 2030) and and overall reduction and convergence of all emissions by both "carbon producing" countries and "carbon consuming" countries (e.g by 2050 to 2070).

Now is the time for bold action on climate change.
South Australia is well placed to take such a leadership position.

Kind regards
Brett Murphy
Solar Suburbs Association

> Brett Murphy

16 Oct 2015

Hi Brett, thanks for getting involved in the discussion and for your thoughts regarding SA leadership.
Our team will review your feedback and take it into consideration in the development of the new climate change strategy for SA.
The consultation closes this Sunday 18 October and the new strategy is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

South Australia is showing great leadership in many ways including the fact that we are currently generating roughly 40% of our electricity from renewable energy (e.g. wind and solar). I urge you to build on this success by developing more renewable energy capacity. South Australia is an incredibly desirable place to live because of the balance of human, social, built, and natural capital that exists and is supported here. Clearly South Australia has some economic challenges with respect to the closure of the Holden plant and the mining bust; however, I believe these climate change challenges could be spun into opportunities that mitigate these other economic challenges. The desirable life that South Australia provides to its many residents is partially a result of good governance and this is an amazing success story that needs to be communicated to the public more effectively.

> paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Hi Paul, great to have you involved in the 'lead' discussion and for your thoughts on how SA should continue to show leadership in the renewable energy field.
Have you had a chance to look at our video about the State's vision for South Australia’s transition to a low-carbon, resilient economy, with advanced manufacturing and green technologies? You can check it out via the 'Background' page on this website, or by cutting and pasting this link:


Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team.

paul sutton > paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

The video is great.

> paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Thanks for the feedback Paul!
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Mike Wallis-Smith

03 Oct 2015

Leadership by the SA Govt is critical. It demonstrates to the Private and business sector how important Climate change is and provides encouragement to take effective action. We have already achieved first mover advantage in renewables and adaptation strategy which provides a practical economic base for further investment and action. As the world gradually becomes aware of the economic benefits of taking effective climate action there will be growing competition for capital ,good business innovations and the skills required . To ensure the employment growth we require as a State it is essential we continue as a leaders rather than rest on our laurels
. Climate change provides huge economic opportunity. The cost of poor leadership or no leadership is economic decline,lower standards and further growth in unemployment. It is essential the Premier plays a key leadership role and there is effective co-ordination between Government departments and the private Sector.One leadership action would be to become the leader in Environmental research into renewables and battery technology.

> Mike Wallis-Smith

06 Oct 2015

Hi Mike. Thanks for being the first to contribute to this new discussion thread, and for your ideas about how South Australia can continue to show leadership on climate change. Your comments will be considered as part of the development of SA's new climate change strategy.
Kind regards, Jessica from the DEWNR Climate Change Team