Community group Climate Action Hobart today delivered 200 letters, signed by members of the public attending the Sustainable Living Expo last weekend, calling for the Government to set a legally binding target of a 40% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

“A 40% reduction is achievable. Our emissions have already fallen more than 25% so we don’t have that much further to go” said Climate Action Hobart spokesperson, Gemma Tillack.

“Since 2002, Tasmania’s greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise” said Ms Tillack, “but the scientists are telling us that developed countries emissions need to fall by 80% – 95% by 2050, and that this is the critical decade in which to get it right.”

“Tasmania’s emissions are going in the wrong direction. We need urgent action from the Tasmanian Government to set a meaningful target and also to put credible policies in place to ensure it is met”.

A 40% target in 2020 could be met with emissions reductions of just 1.5% per year. By saving energy, for example, we could reduce our power bills at the same time as doing our bit for a safe climate future.

With slow economic growth in Tasmania, an expected reduction in the logging of carbon dense forests, a carbon price and significant potential for increased renewable energy generation 40% is a realistic and achievable target.

Another Labor-Green government in the Australian Capital Territory has already set a legally binding target of 40% in 2020.

Meanwhile the Tasmanian Climate Action Council has recommended a target of just 25% reduction by 2020. “We are calling on the Government to adopt a stronger target – the Council’s advice is now outdated due to the introduction of the carbon price and the signing of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement”.

“This week the Australian Government succeeded in putting a price on carbon, this will create a windfall gain for Tasmania thanks to our high renewable energy share. It’s time to give something back and put Tasmania’s economy onto a genuinely sustainable path” concluded Ms Tillack.