The ACT Government has signed an international declaration committing the Territory to take “concrete steps” towards accelerating the transition to low-emission vehicles.
ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury attended the first Zero Emissions Vehicles Summit in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and signed the Birmingham Declaration on behalf of the ACT Government.
The Birmingham Declaration commits participating governments to “build a smart infrastructure network, support zero-emission research and development investment to create new zero-emission technologies and promote a sustainable, circular economy to drive down emissions throughout the supply chain”.
Key signatories include the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Barbados, Poland, Italy, Portugal and United Arab Emirates.
Minister Rattenbury said reducing emissions from transport is crucial in tackling climate change and requires action on a “local, national and global scale”.
“With transport expected to create over 60% of the ACT’s emissions by 2020, mostly from private car use, we are strongly committed to reducing greenhouse gases by encouraging active travel, providing high quality low-emissions public transport options and transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles.”
The ACT Government released an Action Plan earlier this year, outlining steps to support the “rapid uptake” of zero-emissions vehicles in Canberra. These include financial incentives for registration and purchase of no-emissions vehicles, requirements for new developments to install vehicle charging infrastructure, the review of parking and traffic regulations to ensure priorities are offered to zero-emissions vehicles, and transitioning the ACT Government’s vehicle fleet to zero-emissions vehicles from 2020-21.
In Waiting for the Green Light, a report published by the Climate Council of Australia, local governments and councils are encouraged to take the lead on lowering transport emissions. Recommendations include a transport action plan, providing infrastructure for pedestrians and electric vehicles, and encouraging and providing incentives for active and sustainable travel.
Shadow Minister for Transport, Candice Burch MLA said electric vehicles will be an essential part of Canberra’s transport future.
“The Canberra Liberals firmly believe that our transport network should be modern, innovative and sustainable to reflect the nature of our city.”