World-class climate action as Greens pledge to deliver Australia’s first zero emissions commercial centre

Australian Greens

The Greens have again committed to world-class climate action efforts, cheaper energy bills and more clean energy jobs, with a pledge to ensure the new Molonglo Commercial Centre becomes Australia’s first all-electric commercial district.

The Molonglo Commercial Centre is Canberra’s next big commercial centre development. The ACT Greens today pledged that the area will be powered entirely by 100% clean, green renewable electricity – rather than gas, a polluting, planet-warming fossil fuel, which currently contributes 23% of the ACT’s greenhouse gas emissions.

It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Angus Taylor press ahead with their climate-destroying plans for a ‘gas-led COVID recovery‘, while Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese threw his support behind more planet-warming fossil fuels.

The Centre is expected to service the 60,000 people expected to live in the Molonglo Valley by the middle of the century. Centre development is expected to start from 2021-22 and will contain a supermarket and retail development, and in future community facilities and other commercial and mixed use development would be added.

The Australian-first pilot will set the standard for climate-ready developments across the ACT and Australia, and will seek collaboration with relevant organisations such as ARENA, ANU, AEMO, and the Green Building Council.

Under the project, Molonglo Commercial Centre would include:

  • All-electric, climate-wise buildings and facilities (i.e. no gas)
  • Integrated solar energy on all commercial buildings
  • Precinct level battery storage and community owned solar
  • Electric vehicle charging, and technology to allow ‘vehicle to grid’ export from vehicle batteries
  • ‘Smart’ building technology to maximise energy efficiency (eg. automated heating, lighting)

To address climate change and create a best-practice sustainable city, the ACT Government must phase out the use of fossil-fuel gas, and ensure new infrastructure is green and climate-wise.

With Greens in Government, the ACT is an internationally recognised climate action leader.

Today’s commitment from the Greens, if realised, will help cement the ACT’s position as a national leader on climate change and renewable energy initiatives.

Last month, the ACT Government announced that the Canberra Hospital Expansion will also run on the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity – a world first.

As stated by ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury:

“By creating Australia’s first all-electric major commercial centre, the Greens are delivering world-class climate action – taking the urgent steps we need to tackle the climate crisis.

“The ACT is proof positive that a clean, green energy future is not only possible, but imperative.

“The Greens are proud to have delivered 100% clean, green electricity for Canberra, an initiative that is lowering costs for Canberrans. Moving away from gas is not only good for the planet, it’s good for your back pocket.

“I’m proud to be leading technological solutions to the major challenges of running a city. Here in the ACT we are showing the way – that you can actually have sustainable solutions for large-scale projects like hospitals, schools and, under this plan, a whole commercial centre.

“At a time of climate emergency, if politicians aren’t doing everything they can to act on climate change, it’s as good as climate denial.

“Scott Morrison’s ‘gas led COVID recovery’ is just a plan to throw taxpayer money at his mates in the gas industry. But it doesn’t need to be this way.

“The Greens are committed to Building a Better Normal out of the climate crisis.”

As stated by ACT Greens candidate for Murrumbidgee:

“Local residents have long been waiting for shops in Molonglo, and are crying out for a modern commercial centre that meets their needs. The Greens will not only ensure that the commercial centre is delivered as soon as possible, but is climate-ready, comfortable and sustainable over many decades to come.

“We’ll also work with major retailers like supermarkets to ensure they’re doing their bit for a more sustainable Canberra.”

/Public Release. View in full here.