June 13, 2007 Past Issues No Comments

ClimateSmart 2050–Queensland Climate Change Strategy is the State government’s response to the climate change debate. Released on 3 June, the strategy concentrates on energy initiatives and funding for research with the stated intention

Climate change is one of the great challenges facing Queensland.  Photo © Arkin Mackay

Climate change is one of the great challenges facing Queensland.
Photo © Arkin Mackay

of taking on ‘one of the great challenges facing Queensland and the world.’

The Queensland Government is asking for comments and feedback on the strategy and issues relating to climate change by 4 July 2007. See Have your say.

About the strategy

Details of ClimateSmart 2050

The strategy introduces a mix of new policies and policies previously announced in these areas:

Wildlife Queensland says…

The major thrust of this strategy is energy and energy savings alone. Unfortunately there are no specific savings targets planned for energy use. In addition, reductions in greenhouse gases are not set until 2050.

The strategy also summarises previous actions by the Queensland Government that have the effect of mitigating climate change.

Strategy issues

  • The strategy needs specific targets and deadlines for each and every measure it outlines, for example:
    • Greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020
    • Renewable energy target of 25 per cent by 2020
    • Stabilise total energy consumption by 2010 and achieve 1.5 per cent annual reduction to 2020 through world’s best energy efficiency standards for appliances, buildings, vehicles and industrial equipment.
  • Change existing planning and vegetation management laws to promote sustainability and protect biodiversity to internationally recognised standards.
  • Subsidies to renewable energy areas should be equivalent to the subsidies given to the coal, oil and gas industries to develop clean technology.
  • Additional assistance should go to local government to incorporate energy saving technlogy, both financial and advisory.
  • We should support the strategy’s plans to rely on alternative power sources over nuclear technology.

Wildlife Queensland says…

A major submission to the Queensland Government by Wildlife Queensland on amendments to the Vegetation Management Act, the SEQ Regional Plan (both cited by the government as examples of activities taken to mitigate climate change), and the Integrated Planning Act and subordinate legislation has had minimal impact so far. Significant legislative changes are needed to achieve the stated objectives of the strategy

  • End extensive broad scale land clearing in urban areas.
  • Ensure for the marine environment a comprehensive and representative protected estate is created, preserving 20–50 per cent of all ecosystem types by 2020.
  • Stronger  commitment needed to protecting coastal and SEQ eco systems; the SEQ regional plan has failed to incorporate biodiversity mapping into legislation.

Wildlife areas of interest

The strategy contains specific areas that are likely to be of interest to Queensland residents who support the aims of Wildlife Queensland:

State planning policy for climate change

Climate change risks and issues—such as vulnerable and threatened areas, and the type of development suitable for use—will be incorporated into Queensland’s planning and development system.

ClimateSmart adaptation plan

To be developed based on extensive community consultation and using the public responses to the 2005 Climate change adaptation discussion paper.

Wildlife Queensland says… Until the Queensland Government develops a realistic time-bound strategy for the protection of Queensland biodiversity addressing the implications of climate change, species will continue to be at risk, ecological processes will remain under threat and environmental harm will be a reality.

Wildlife Queensland says…

Unless a consultation model is adopted coordinating the Protected Areas Estate and compatible land use across the landscape, productivity will not be protected. Continuity and resilience must underpin the model. The Protected Area Estate of Queensland is well short of the recognised international standard of 10% of the State’s total area.

Biosphere reserves would provide the capability to manage the entire landscape at a regional level. Climate change could reduce stream flow and water availability. We need consistent and secure entitlements to water across all jurisdictions for the environment.

Building resilient natural ecosystems

This section states the need to adopt a cautious approach to planning and managing natural ecosystems and refers to completed actions by the Queensland Government to support ecosystems:

Have your say

The Queensland Government is inviting public comment and feedback on the strategy and issues relating to climate change by 4 July 2007.

Comment on the strategy.

For more information on WPSQ’s campaigns, email or phone +61 (7) 3221 0194.

Wildlife Queensland, June 2007

Written by Wildlifeqld