Canberra Light Rail To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

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Originally published on RenewEconomy.
by Sophie Vorrath

Stage one of Canberra’s light rail project, the proposed development of a multi-million dollar network linking Civic to Gungahlin in Canberra’s north, will be 100 per cent powered by renewables, the ACT government has revealed.

ACT environment minister Simon Corbell – who is also minister for the green transport project, dubbed Capital Metro – said the successful bidder would be required to source a minimum of 10 per cent of the light rail system’s electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind.

5642494-3x2-340x227“Combined with the ACT government achieving its target of 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020 – the time in which stage one light rail will be up and running – this will enable the Capital Metro project to be 100% green energy powered,” he said in a statement on the weekend.

Corbell said the successful bidder would also need to have measures in place to reduce the emissions resulting from building the network, including energy efficient construction practices and sourcing carbon offsets.

“These two project requirements demonstrate the ACT government’s leadership in tackling the impacts of climate change through prioritisation of renewal energy, reducing the ACT’s carbon emissions and a strong commitment to achieving carbon neutrality,” Corbell said.

“Canberra has the highest car dependence of any major Australian city, with transport now being responsible for 25 percent of the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Light rail has the potential to greatly improve our city’s liveability and sustainability by getting people out of their cars and onto public transport. This will not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions but also congestion and travel times.”

Meanwhile, the ACT government has kicked off the new week by signing up to two major international climate agreements: the Compact of States and Regions and the Compact of Mayors, and will report annually to an international audience through the Carbon Disclosure Project.

“Leading up to the UN conference in Paris in December, there are many global initiatives happening right now that are working to rally regional and state governments and corporations to respond to climate change,” Corbell said in a statement on Monday.

“Membership of the Compact of States and Regions and the Compact of Mayors mean the ACT Government will report annually on our targets and emissions reduction progress at both the territory and city scale.”

The Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest cooperative effort among mayors and city officials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Data collected, covering more than 200 million people, will become the evidence base needed to quantify the effectiveness of city action on greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation.

“By being involved and reporting on our targets and emissions reduction progress annually, the ACT can not only benchmark our actions on climate change, but actively contribute to more informed discussions at the Paris conference in December,” Corbell said.

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