Dear Premier Dan Andrews and the Victorian government,
The Federal government’s failure to tackle the climate crisis leaves Victorian communities exposed to intensifying bushfires, heatwaves, droughts, and sea-level rise.
While the delay in setting Victoria’s first Emissions Reduction Targets is understandable given the circumstances, it must not delay community action on the climate crisis.
Over the last twelve months, a parliamentary inquiry has heard from people across the state who are taking things into their own hands to cut emissions and protect themselves from dangerous climate impacts.
Demand for previous state government grant schemes to support community projects have dramatically outstripped what was available. When we're facing a climate change emergency it's not good enough that positive solutions are missing out on funding.
I call on the Victorian government to establish a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund of at least $100 million. The fund would provide grants to:
- Upgrade public libraries, schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses, and sporting clubs to become Climate Emergency Refuge Centres equipped with solar, batteries, efficient heating and cooling, emergency communications, water tanks, etc.
- Local governments to develop and implement Zero-Net Emissions (Z-Net) plans to achieve zero emissions across all sectors of the economy in ten years.
The deferral of setting Emissions Reduction Targets is testing the patience of community members who have been fighting long and hard for climate solutions.
We believe the Andrews government must take this step to reaffirm its commitment to climate justice.