The countdown to climate action continues.
The Victorian government has until March 31 next year to set the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
With the shock re-election of Scott Morrison our campaign to secure science-based targets in Victoria is more important than ever.
While a Federal Coalition government will seek to apply the handbrake to climate action, it's worth noting that we've been here before. And we know how to fight under these conditions.
Not long after Tony Abbott was elected in 2013, the Federal government mounted a sustained attack on renewable energy that saw investment drop by 90 percent and thousands of job losses.
In January 2014 we launched our push for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to make the state a safe haven for the sector. Despite the odds, we never gave up. We built a powerful coalition that included communities; unions; renewable energy companies; and environment groups, and we won!
In 2017, the Andrews government enshrined the Victorian Renewable Energy Target in law and ran the country’s largest-ever reverse auction for new solar and wind projects. The scheme will treble the state’s renewable energy capacity, create 10,000 jobs, and cut emissions in the electricity sector by 16 percent.
We’ve made Victoria a safe haven for renewable energy. Now we must make it a safe haven for climate action.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
The newly-formed Bass Coast Climate Action Network and Friends of the Earth have joined forces to host a community forum on local climate change impacts.
With dramatic coastal erosion in Inverloch, extreme weather in Cape Paterson making headlines and a recent visit by Climate Minister Lily D'Ambrosio, the event organisers say they want their community to be fully informed about what’s happening here in the context of national and global trends.Read more
Victorian Minister for Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has visited Inverloch—an emerging frontline of the crisis—to survey dramatic coastal erosion from intensifying storm surges and rising sea levels.
Act on Climate can confirm the Minister’s fact-finding trip occurred on Friday May 3 with Jordan Crugnale MP, just days after an ABC News report on Inverloch’s plight featuring the work of local citizen scientist Aileen Vening.
"It’s a relief that what I’ve been recording and talking about for several years is now finding a wider audience," said Vening.
The Victorian Greens have written to Treasurer Tim Pallas to call on the upcoming state budget to deliver for climate and environment.
After a confronting summer in which we have seen record-breaking heatwaves, damaging bushfires, continuing drought, and dramatic coastal erosion in Apollo Bay and Inverloch, the need for governments to ramp up investment in climate action has never been greater.
The countdown to climate action has begun.
The Victorian government has until March 31 next year to set the state's first short- and mid- term Emissions Reduction Targets and we're not wasting any time.
Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective is fighting for science-based targets that will get us to zero emissions as soon as possible.
With Australia's emissions increasing on the Federal Coalition's watch, we need the Victorian Labor government to show greater leadership on the climate crisis to help put the country back on track and avoid runaway climate change.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
On Wednesday 10 April, Victoria’s Minister for Agriculture, Regional Development, and Resources Jaclyn Symes gave her inaugural address to the Rural Press Club.
Friends of the Earth’s Act on Climate collective was there to see how climate change would feature in the minister’s address. As it turns out, it was high on the agenda.
"We know that while there are parts of rural and regional Victoria doing well, there are other areas who are doing it tough," said Minister Symes.
"This is most prevalent in those areas dealing with drought and dry conditions… And that’s why climate change and drought are driving a lot of my thinking."
"It’s these factors that require me to not only think about my role over the next four years but helping our farmers and their communities set themselves up for the next forty years."
Elaborating on the impacts of climate change in Victoria, Minister Symes noted farming communities had seen drought, fire, flood, storm damage and frost in recent years and said she was “truly shocked” to see the impacts of drought in East Gippsland.
After a confronting summer in which we have seen record-breaking heatwaves across the continent and damaging bushfires in Victoria, community members are looking for governments to show leadership to tackle the climate crisis.
Now more than ever we need Victoria to lead the fight for climate justice.
Australia's emissions are on the rise due to the Federal Coalition's failure to act on climate. But Victoria has an opportunity to put the country back on track.
The process for setting Victoria's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets has kicked off again. The Andrews government has just received independent expert advice on emissions cuts. Now they need to hear from the community.
Email Premier Daniel Andrews and key Cabinet Ministers today to put climate action on the top of their agenda. We need them to pay careful attention to the panel's recommendations and the consequences of failure.
Let's remind the government that the most important responsibility they have is to ensure a safe climate and healthy environment for children and the generations that come after us.
The Andrews Labor government has announced a $1 million Community Climate Change Adaptation Grants program for regional Victoria, yet Friends of the Earth says the allocation "falls short of community demand."
"Every dollar the state government spends to help communities respond to climate change is a wise investment," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.
"Yet Victorian communities will need much more then $1 million to cope with the impacts of climate change."
The Federal Coalition government's failure on climate change has seen the country's emissions increase for three consecutive years. This failure leaves Victorian communities exposed to intensifying droughts, heatwaves, bushfires, rising seas, and extreme weather.
Regional Victoria is already experiencing climate impacts. For example, Cape Conran saw a winter bushfire last year and community members have sounded the alarm over the impact of rising sea levels in Apollo Bay and Inverloch.
"With the Federal Coalition failing to act on climate change, we need to see greater leadership from Premier Daniel Andrews and the Labor government."Read more
On Saturday 10 November, around 100 community members have formed a human sign in the shape of the Liberal Party logo on St Kilda Beach to mock Matthew Guy and the opposition’s head-in-the-sand approach to climate change by doing just that: putting their heads in the sand.
Community members concerned about climate change are deeply frustrated that the opposition has failed to deliver a climate policy, with Victoria less then two weeks away from a state election.
"Despite having had four years to come up with a comprehensive policy, Matthew Guy and the Liberal opposition have no plan to rein in emissions and protect Victorian communities from climate impacts if elected on November 24," said Act on Climate spokesperson Anna Langford.
Matthew Guy and the Victorian Coalition announced their intention to build a new ‘baseload’ 500 MW power station if elected at the November state election.
Friends of the Earth say the Liberal party's decision to release an energy policy open to new gas and coal power fails the climate change test when renewable energy is the best option to cut emissions and deliver cheaper power for Victorians.
“We are pleased that the Coalition has finally released its full energy policy. But they have let the Victorian people down by proposing a policy which could have come from the 1950s,” said Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth.
“The energy of the future is renewable. It is extraordinary that the Coalition still intends to overturn the VRET – the state renewable energy target which is driving the uptake of renewables while creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment.Read more