The ACT has passed a landmark bill banning new gas connections in new properties, reinforcing its commitment to clean energy. Fossil gas is a major contributor to global emissions.
With the ACT already procuring 100% of its electricity from renewables and aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045, this ban is a significant step. Minister Shane Rattenbury described the move as a crucial milestone. The region is promoting electric appliances and has seen areas like Ginninderry becoming all-electric.
Although the ban targets new constructions, gas-powered outdoor cooking remains unaffected. This progressive step by the ACT could inspire other Australian regions towards a renewable future.
ACT leading the fossil gas ban
The Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Natural Gas Transition) Amendment Bill, backed by the Labor and Greens parties, has recently passed through the ACT legislative assembly. This ground-breaking decision, reminiscent of the ban on plastic bags, bans new fossil gas connections in new properties in the state, therefore, marking a significant victory for clean energy advocates and signals a shift toward a more sustainable future.
When burned, fossil fuel gas releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. The use of fossil fuel gas results in the production of over 371 kilotons of carbon dioxide each year and accounts for around 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of carbon dioxide emissions. It is also the second largest source of greenhouse emissions after transportation, contributing approximately 23% annually.
The ACT’s commitment to renewable energy is evident as it already sources 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. This ambitious ban on fossil gas aligns with the territory’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045, further solidifying its position as a pioneer in renewable energy adoption.
“This legislation marks a significant milestone in the ACT’s energy transition, setting the framework to prohibit new gas connections in the ACT. ” Minister for Water, Energy, and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury
Extensive research supports the viability of electricity as a more efficient, affordable, and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel gas. The ACT Government is encouraging residents to embrace electric appliances as the territory gradually moves away from gas.
This transition has already gained momentum, with ‘Swinger Hill’ becoming the first-ever medium-density all-electric housing area in Canberra back in 1972. Additionally, Ginninderry has emerged as the first all-electric suburb, with Jacka and future stages of Whitlam and Denman Prospect set to follow suit in the coming years.
However, gas enthusiasts need not despair entirely. While the ban applies to new constructions, those longing to savour the Aussie experience of throwing a shrimp on the Barbie can still do so using portable Webber Barbies, as gas-powered options are still available for outdoor cooking.
With the ACT leading the way, it is hoped that other regions will be inspired to take similar actions to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources. By collectively embracing sustainable practices, Australia can make significant strides in addressing climate change and creating a cleaner and more resilient future for generations to come.