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south australia

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    THE South Australian Government will be carbon neutral in 12 years, Premier Mike Rann promised today.

    The promise throws down the gauntlet to state and local adminstrations as well as Kevin Rudd's federal Labor Government to follow suit.

    Opening the third international Solar Cities Congress, Mr Rann outlined a timetable to offset all the greenhouse gas emissions produced by government activities.

    "This Government is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the state," he said.

    "We hope that our determination to reduce our carbon footprint will, in turn, inspire and encourage industries and other governments to follow our lead, thereby increasing demand for green energy.

    "In other words, from little things, big things grow.''

    Other governments around the world have made similar pledges, but not in Australia.

    New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has set a target of taking the whole country carbon neutral.

    Mr Rann already runs a carbon-neutral Cabinet, with ministers reducing their carbon footprint and buying credits to offset any remaining emissions.

    South Australian MPs have been encouraged to follow suit to create a carbon-neutral Parliament.

    The South Australian Government's timetable included a provision to offset 30 per cent of the government's greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 by purchasing green energy, or energy produced from renewable resources and through other carbon credits.

    By 2014 that would need to rise to 50 per cent and by 2020 the government must be carbon neutral.

    Mr Rann said the Government's commitment to buying carbon offsets would also act as a catalyst for the early development of a carbon offsets industry in South Australia.
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