The independent review of Tasmania’s Climate Change (State Action) Act 2008 provides an opportunity to bring Tasmania’s legislation in line with the state’s ambition to be a world leader on climate change, and in line with the state’s unique emissions profile. If strengthened, the Act can create a clear framework and a set of processes and institutions that will ensure successive state governments continue to act on climate change.

The Act can do this by legislating a target of net zero emissions by 2025, an ambitious negative emissions target for 2050, and a process for setting progressive interim negative emissions targets to meet the 2050 target. This can be combined with legislated processes for: setting interim targets, setting sector and government operations pledges, and periodic reporting on progress towards these targets. The Act can also outline a transparent governance model that specifies the responsibilities of relevant government officials and bodies in achieving the set emissions targets.

The State also has the opportunity to use its achievement of net zero emissions as a foundation for further world-leading action through its next climate change action plan. This would include actions that preserve and grow Tasmania’s nature-based carbon sinks; that establish low carbon industries for exports; and that address the sectors of the economy that currently have positive emissions.