Victoria's annual greenhouse emissions performance data has been released as the Andrews government enters a critical decision-making period on state Emissions Reduction Targets.
The Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2019 shows the state's emissions are on a downward trajectory, though Friends of the Earth says a heavier lift is needed to avoid dangerous climate impacts such as intensifying heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, and sea level rise:
"Community members are looking to the Andrews government to show greater leadership while the Morrison government refuses to tackle the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate spokesperson.
"Victoria's emissions are on a downward trajectory, but a heavier lift is needed to protect communities from dangerous climate impacts."
It has been an epic year. We've been supporting communities on the frontline of climate impacts; putting climate blockers such on the backfoot; boosting the climate movement in all its forms; and meeting with as many Victorian Labor politicians as possible...
Why the latter?
Because Premier Dan Andrews and the Labor government will soon set Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30.
It's the first time a state government will set short- and medium-term targets across the whole economy. And, given PM Scott Morrison's refusal to tackle the climate crisis, it's an opportunity that we can't miss.
With climate impacts occurring much faster that predicted, the litmus test for the Andrews government is whether the Emissions Reduction Targets help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Science-based targets will continue Victoria's renewable energy rollout and put the state on the map for the jobs-rich offshore wind industry. It will require greater investment in public transport and greater protection for forests and the natural world.
While we've urged well over a dozen MPs to lead the drive for less than 1.5°C, we need your help to reach the rest of them.
The School Strike 4 Climate Action movement has called a day of action on Friday 29 November to show solidarity with those affected by the unprecedented bushfires in NSW and Queensland. The event will call for governments to ramp up efforts to tackle the climate crisis. With Prime Minister Scott Morrison refusing to act, greater leadership is needed from Premier Dan Andrews and the Victorian Labor government.
Here's a message from Alice, a school striker from Melbourne:
It’s Alice here from School Strike 4 Climate. I’m a 17 year old from Melbourne and, like you, have been watching on in horror as fires have been blazing across NSW, Queensland and more recently in Victoria and South Australia. Fires that are ravaging homes, livelihoods, country and, tragically, taking lives.
These fires are not normal. Over one million hectares have already burnt across the nation and summer is yet to come. Climate change is on our doorstep. It’s affecting our communities, here and now, and yet so many still choose to ignore what is right in front of them.
Act on Climate is pleased to bring you an update from the Bass Coast Climate Action Network (BCCAN).
It's crucial to hear from communities on the front lines of climate change, including here in Australia where we're already seeing the effects of extreme weather events, summers getting hotter than ever, and sea levels rising - like on the Bass Coast, where there has been over thirty metres of coastal erosion.
Read on for BCCAN's November newsletter.
BASS COAST CLIMATE ACTION NEWSLETTER: NOVEMBER
SOUND FOR CLIMATE!
Sound For Climate is only two weeks away! Final preparations are falling in place as we speak.
Have a read about the artists coming to perform. This group of young musicians have loud voices and they’re ready to put on a show to support the fight for climate action.
Back in July, Friends of the Earth called on our supporters to meet with local Labor MPs to make the case for science-based Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria.
The Morrison government's refusal to tackle the climate crisis has seen the country's emissions increase five years in a row. The refusal to act leaves communities exposed to intensifying heatwaves, bushfires, sea-level rise, and extreme weather.
The Andrews government has an opportunity to put Australia back on track by setting Emissions Reduction Targets that help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Libby Capogreco, a member of the Grandmothers for Climate Action, met with her local MP Anthony Carbines to make the case for ambition:
Act on Climate will be bringing you the updates from local climate action groups.
It's crucial to hear from communities on the front lines of climate change, including here in Australia where we're already seeing the effects of sea levels rising, extreme weather events worsening, and summers getting hotter. The ongoing fires along the east coast serve to tragically demonstrate the severe impacts we're facing.
It's also important to hear from local communities because of the amazing spirit they bring to fighting for climate justice and the awesome successes they achieve!
This week we'll hear last month's updates from the outstanding Bass Coast Climate Action Network (BCCAN) in Victoria. Stay tuned for more local updates.
Australia's emissions have increased *again* on the Federal Coalition's watch.
The conservative government’s refusal to tackle the climate crisis leaves communities exposed to intensifying climate impacts, such as the record-breaking heat in East Gippsland on the last day of October.
Meanwhile in Victoria, the Andrews government has less than five months to set Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. Momentum is building for targets that are bold and ambitious.
Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
The Andrews government will provide $1.15 million in emergency funds to help arrest dramatic beach erosion occurring in Inverloch on the Bass Coast. The funding will go towards short-term projects such as the installation of a geotextile sandbag wall to help protect the Inverloch Surf Club.
Friends of the Earth say the emergency funding shows the Andrews government is increasingly aware of local climate impacts and prepared to act, but must show greater leadership when it comes to cutting emissions:
“The Federal Coalition’s refusal to tackle the climate crisis leaves Victorian communities exposed to intensifying impacts,” said Leigh Ewbank, Act on Climate coordinator.
“It’s clear the Andrews government is paying close attention to the frontlines of climate change in Victoria. It will take a commitment to science-based Emissions Reduction Targets to limit the long term damage.”
The Labor government’s funding announcement comes in response to a community campaign sounding the alarm about the local climate impacts.
Over 150 Victorians rallied outside the offices of EnergyAustralia on Monday 7 October showing their frustration with the company's public comments on state climate and energy policies.
Community members sent a clear message to EnergyAustralia, the owner of Australia's most polluting coal-burning power station: "Get on board with Victoria's efforts to tackle the climate crisis or get out the way."
The protest comes following the latest IPCC report which paints a disturbing picture of climate damage. Sea levels could be 110cm higher in 2100, and extreme events will hit the coast once a year by 2050. The report underscores the need to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
The action began with a speech from Bass Coast resident Mat Morgan. Mat has seen coastal erosion first hand with his local beach in Inverloch losing 43m of shoreline since 2012—putting the surf lifesaving and a local road at risk.
Campaigners from Friends of the Earth and Environment Victoria made the case for cutting pollution, investing in renewables, and taking bold and ambitious action on climate.
Once speaker noted that EnergyAustralia (formerly know as TRUenergy) received $266 million compensation when the national carbon price was introduced in 2012. It kept the kept the money despite the fact the carbon price was repealed. Friends of the Earth say this money should be returned to cut emissions and help communities cope with climate impacts.
The snap action was called in response to EnergyAustralia's recent actions that undermine Victoria's efforts to rollout renewable energy and tackle the climate crisis.
The Andrews government has six months to set Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
We have a tight timeframe to influence the Andrews government’s decision, but we have momentum. The Emissions Reduction Targets have been our central focus in 2019, and we have plenty to show for it:
- Hundreds of supporters emailed key Cabinet ministers;
- a new ally in the Bass Coast Climate Action Network;
- over 2,500 submissions to the government;
- dozens of media stories including The Age and ABC News;
- a packed-out forum in Inverloch;
- over a dozen meetings with MPs and key advisors; and,
- hundreds of emails to the Premier since the Climate Strike.
Our campaign for Emissions Reduction Targets that keep global warming below 1.5°C comes amid an unprecedented display of community power on climate. Well over 150,000 people joined the September 20 Climate Strike led by school students.
Marches in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Wonthaggi, and other towns demonstrate there’s widespread support for governments to rule out new fossil fuel projects, deliver 100 percent renewables, and ensure a fair and just transition for workers.
Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...