Thursday, August 20, 2009

Qld unveils 'ground breaking' climate change strategy

By Chris O'Brien

ABC News Online, Thu Aug 20, 2009

The Queensland Government says its new climate change strategy is ground breaking.

No new coal-fired power stations will be built in Queensland unless they use world's best emissions technology.

The rule is one of a range of climate change initiatives unveiled by Premier Anna Bligh.

Future coal-fired power stations must also be able to store and capture carbon.

Today's policy also includes an anti-congestion plan, using a high-tech traffic management system, and programs to change travel habits and offset vehicle emissions.

Premier Anna Bligh has told Parliament the package includes $87 million in new funding.

"With this strategy we are breaking a lot of ground," he said.

"ClimateQ includes detailed analysis of climate change projections for 13 regions covering all of Queensland to help local governments, communities and industries better understand and plan for impacts."

Ms Bligh told Parliament there is great potential for rural land to store greenhouse gases underground.

"The review of our climate change policy has produced a suite of new initiatives and investments to take Queensland's long-term response into a new phase," she said.

"I believe this strategy gets the balance right between incentives, support and information for consumers."

Ms Bligh told State Parliament that future coal-fired power stations must meet two requirements.

"It uses world's best low emission technology in order to achieve the lowest possible levels of emissions, and it is carbon capture and storage ready and will retrofit that technology within five years of CCS [carbon capture and storage technology] being made commercially viable," she said.

Queensland Climate Change Minister Kate Jones says the public can pay to offset their carbon emissions.

"This is a $9 million commitment and we will use this $9 million to purchase biodiversity corridors across Queensland," she said.

"So we're saying dollar-for-dollar we will match Queenslanders who want to offset their carbon emissions through their car use."

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