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Sustainability (Law of Urban Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change)

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: This chapter provides an updated description and critical analysis of Federal and Australian Capital Territory laws that are relevant to the goal of improved urban environmental sustainability in the ACT. It examines legal provisions to reduce carbon emissions and energy use, improve energy, transport and water efficiency, and requirements to consider the environment in decision making.The Chapter covers Planning and Development Act 2007 (ACT), Environment Protection Act 1997, Electricity (National Scheme) Act 1997, Utilities Act 2000, Weathering the Change: the ACT Climate Change Strategy 2007-2025, ACT Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Act 2004, Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibitions) Act 1986 (NSW), Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Act 2008, Solar access law, sustainability provisions in ACT Planning Law, Energy efficiency law including the Building Act 2004, Energy Star Ratings including Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, Building Sustainability Index (BASIX), energy efficiency performance ratings (EER) including EER and rental properties, Efficiency of Appliances. The Chapter also covers Planning law as it relates to urban water issues including Catchment protection, Water tanks, Water Efficiency and Labelling Standards (WELS).The Chapter describes the retrograde legislative steps at the Federal level in terms of repeal of the carbon tax law and the passage of amendments to reduce the ambition of the renewable energy target. It also describes the ACT laws and concludes that when compared to other Australian jurisdictions, ACT laws to respond to climate change and to promote renewable energy are quite strong. Still, the ACT’s statutory framework for the protection of environmental sustainability is fragmented throughout several statutes and policy documents, primarily in planning schemes and energy and water efficiency. Policy documents such as the Action Plan Two, AP2, on Climate Change guide decision-makers in the ACT in sustainable planning and actions. However, despite these guiding policies, there is no broader Act in force in the Territory requiring government decisions across all portfolios to have regard for the principles of ESD.

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