As the world’s biggest climate conference comes to a close, South Australia continues to be a world leader in dealing with the impacts of climate change and today the Marshall Liberal Government has taken that one step further by introducing legislation to lock in the state’s ambitious emission reductions targets.

The historic Bill will enshrine in legislation South Australia’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030.

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) ended last weekend with South Australia cementing its commitment to climate action over the course of the two-week event.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said much has been achieved in the past two weeks through collaboration and good will between all participating nations and jurisdictions.

“South Australia has led the way regarding climate change action and renewable energy and I was proud to showcase our achievements on the world stage at COP26,” Minister Speirs said.

“To be able to introduce legislation today which will lock in our ambitious targets shows the Marshall Liberal Government is beyond slogans and rhetoric when it comes to climate change action, instead we are focussed on delivering real, practical outcomes for the people of South Australia.

“Our practical approach will help build a strong, climate smart economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support South Australia to adapt to a changing climate and importantly create local jobs for the future.

“Strengthening our international partnerships and building our reputation as an international leader in biodiversity conservation and climate will drive new investment and innovation in our state.”

South Australia’s key achievements throughout COP26 include:

  • Strengthening climate change leadership: There was already a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and the South Australian Government has gone one step further with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030.
  • Providing $5 million to help green Adelaide’s CBD through four initiatives including a $2 million Greener City Streets Program, $1.5 million Wild Walls and Roofs Grants, $1 million for Cool Corridors, and $500,000 worth of Green Water Rebates to be delivered over the next four years to create a cooler, greener, wilder and more climate-resilient city centre.
  • Becoming a founding member of the Net Zero Emissions Policy Forum. Initiated by the NSW, ACT and South Australian Governments, the forum is a collaboration designed to help sub-national jurisdictions address the practical challenges of achieving net zero emissions.
  • Leading the world in the circular economy with the Global Centre of Excellence in Circular Economy – Circular360 to establish a head office in Adelaide.
  • Signing the Edinburgh Declaration which supports action and collaboration to recognise the value of nature and biodiversity, integrate it into policy, raise public awareness and share best practice among jurisdictions.
  • Improving the health of the River Torrens by providing $5 million to create environmental wetlands in partnership with the Adelaide City Council.
  • Signing the COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans, further demonstrating our commitment to reduce transport emissions.

“Our government continues to invest millions of dollars across our environment and energy portfolios to implement practical action Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025, which is the most powerful vision for climate action of any South Australian Government in history,” Minister Speirs said.

“Demand for low emissions products is growing, and South Australia is well equipped to use our abundance of sun and wind to take full advantage of this growing demand.

“South Australia's transformation to a net zero emissions economy and a national and international exporter of clean energy could mean achieving a level of renewable energy that is more than five times the current local grid demand by 2050.”

For more information about South Australia’s involvement at COP26 visit the Department for Environment and Water website www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/climate-change/cop26.