[LINK] ACT 40% by 2020 greenhouse target but little role for Internet

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Aug 27 10:43:07 AEST 2010

The local government in Canberra announced ACT Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Targets of 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050:

The Minister for the Environment Climate Change and Water, Simon Corbell
MLA, stated that the details would be in a "Climate Change and
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill 2010" to be introduced in the ACT Assembly
on 26 August 2010. However, this proposed legislation does not yet
appear to be available on the website for the ACT Legislative Assembly

The minister announced regular reporting, a Climate Change Council and
voluntary private sector agreements. However, there were no details of
how it is proposed to actually cut greenhouse gas emissions, or what 
this is expected to cost.

A 40 page "Weathering the Change: Primer 2 Report" by consultants
Kinesis estimates that without action Canberra emissions will increase
40% by 2020. The report estimates possible reductions
from several strategies with: Energy efficiency; Fuel switching;
Renewable energy; Waste to energy; Travel/transport; Employee density;
Street lighting; and Bio-sequestration. The report does not appear to
discuss the use of Green ICT, the Internet and computer systems to
increase energy efficiency. Canberra is largely a service economy, with
most workers sitting in offices using computers, so failing to address
this is a major flaw in the report:

A 80 page "ACT Zero Net Emissions Initiatives: Gap Analysis &
Opportunity Identification" report by Heuris Partners was also released
(Dated May 2010 and marked "Discussion draft: In confidence"). The
report mentioned the Internet in relation to greenhouse gas reduction,
but only for public relations purposes, not to actually reduce
greenhouse gas emissions: "Consumers are increasingly turning to the
Internet as a trusted source of peer-generated information". There was
mention of the use of "Smart meters" for energy reduction: "Energy price
structure. Increasing the use of “smart meters” and removing energy

Heuris Partners state on their web site that "We conduct bottom up
sectoral research on mineral and energy demand ... We have designed and
led major organisation design projects in some of Australia’s largest
heavy industrial and mining companies ... ". As one of the primary ways
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce the use of electricity
generated from coal, the ACT Government may have been more prudent to
have selected consultants who do not work for mining companies:

I have extracted the summaries from the reports and placed them on my
blog for easier reading at:

ps:  My latest class of ACS Green ICT students just completed the course
<http://www.tomw.net.au/green/> and a class of ANU students are mid way
through. Several of my students work for local, national and
international government agencies and write their assignments, proposing
energy reduction strategies, as official reports.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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