A Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into community action on climate change is now underway.
The Environment & Planning Committee is investigating the full range of community efforts to tackle the climate crisis to gain insights into the ways in which the government can support them.
The inquiry will have no trouble finding examples of leadership in Victoria. Communities have shown incredible resolve, ingenuity, and creativity for well over a decade.
In all corners of the state one can see inspiring examples of local activism: info nights, market stalls, radio shows, podcasts, community energy projects, citizen science, tree planting, art projects, community gardens, candidates' forums, policy work, and advocacy.
Here are seven ways the Victorian government (and opposition) can supercharge the community response...
Friends of the Earth Melbourne welcome the Andrews government announcement it will today introduce legislation to increase Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 50 percent by 2030, saying its a clear step forward for the state’s energy transition that will create thousands of climate jobs.
“Every time Victoria increases its renewable energy target, the state will benefit from new jobs and investment in climate action” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s renewable energy spokesperson.
It is predicted the increased VRET will generate thousands of jobs across the state, and secure and additional $5.8 billion in investment by 2030.
“Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target has been critical in kickstarting the sector after years of failure on the climate crisis by the Federal Coalition” added Simons.
“If we are going to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we need to build an energy system powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and this announcement takes Victoria one step closer to that outcome” said Simons.
The owner of Australia's dirtiest power plant, EnergyAustralia, has taken to the Murdoch press to sook about state climate and energy policy.
The company is claiming that its power plant in Yallourn might close prematurely due to Emissions Reduction Targets and Victorian Renewable Energy Target.
In reality though, EnergyAustralia's Victorian coal power plant will close from old age and its inability to compete with new technology entering the grid.
As research from The Australia Institute demonstrates, Victoria's brown coal power plants are the most unreliable generators in the country.
“Victoria’s coal power plants are responsible for the highest number of breakdowns in the country, putting the state’s electricity supply at serious risk,” the Australia Institute's Richie Merzian told RenewEconomy in June.
“It’s worrying that Victoria’s heavy-polluting coal plants already struggle to consistently supply the state and climate change will only increase the difficulty with more days of extreme heat and higher demand.”
“Across the national grid," Merzian added, "Victoria’s aging coal-fired power stations are the most likely to fail and Victorian’s felt this first-hand in January this year when many were forced into blackout.”
The countdown to climate action continues. The Andrews government has less than eight months to set the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
With climate deniers in the Federal Coalition and Murdoch media stalling climate action at the national level, now more than ever we need to see greater leadership in Victoria.
Friends of the Earth’s Act on Climate collective is leading the community campaign for science-based targets that keep global warming below 1.5°C.
If we can get Premier Dan Andrews and the Labor government to commit to bold and ambitious targets, then we can lock in the rollout of renewable energy and set the scene for iconic projects like Star of the South—the offshore wind farm proposed for Gippsland.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
The Victorian Parliament’s Environment & Planning Committee has announced an inquiry into community climate action. It will investigate what urban, regional, and rural communities are doing to tackle the climate crisis and how the state government can support them.
The inquiry comes as the Andrews government resumes its decision-making on Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets and will set the scene for the forthcoming state Climate Strategy.
Friends of the Earth welcome the Environment & Planning Committee’s inquiry and say it will allow Members of Parliament to grasp the full scope of the community’s efforts.
“Communities across Victoria are leading when it comes to tackling the climate crisis,” said Act on Climate coordinator, Leigh Ewbank.
“Communities from Portland to Mallacoota and from Yackandandah to the Bass Coast are showing incredible commitment to cut emissions and cope with the impacts of a changing climate.”
“It’s time for Victorian Parliamentarians to catch up with the community and put their shoulder to the wheel.”
The countdown to climate action continues. The Andrews government has less than nine months to set an Emissions Reduction Target for 2025.
The Federal Coalition has finally caught on to the process occurring in Victoria and they're starting to throw their weight around. Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions, Angus Taylor, launched a media offensive in late June—branding Victoria’s targets 'crazy.'
Taylor's attack came with revelations EnergyAustralia might close the Yallourn coal power plant years ahead of schedule based on climate and energy policy.
Angus Taylor, the Federal Coalition, EnergyAustralia, and the Australian Industry Group are shaping up as the main Climate Blockers to ambitious climate action in Victoria.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
The Australian Industry Group has revealed its true colours on climate, raising serious doubts about whether it has a genuine interest in cutting emissions in Victoria—or any other jurisdiction for that matter.
In a press statement released on Thursday 13 June, the Australian Industry Group gloats about Queensland's approval of a groundwater licence for the controversial Adani coal mine. At no time have the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples given their free, prior, and informed consent for the project.
According to the AiG's Shane Rodgers, "...sanity has finally prevailed in the decision-making process on the Adani mine."
It is a well known fact that the Adani coal mine represents a "carbon bomb" that would accelerate climate change and leave Australian communities exposed to intensifying impacts.
The findings of the ‘Combet report’—the independent advice to the Andrews government on emissions cuts—have been tabled in Parliament. The report has kicked off the decision-making process about Victoria's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
Victoria has a legislated target of zero-net emissions by 2050. The government has until 31 March 2020 to set targets for the years 2025 and 2030.
While the Combet Report recommends ‘flexible’ targets of 32-39 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 45-60 percent below 2005 levels in 2030, the real test is whether the government will commit to science-based targets that help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Here are 10 reasons why we should fight for science-based targets that are both bold and ambitious...