The Victorian election is a little over a month away and the campaign is heating up.
While climate change is an under-reported issue at the state level, one place where it could have electoral impact is the regional seat of Macedon where leadership on renewable energy and pioneering efforts to cut emissions are visible to the community.
The release of the IPCC's Special Report on the impacts of 1.5C of global warming has piqued the public's awareness of what's at stake if governments fail to rein in polluting oil, gas, and coal companies and drive emissions cuts across the whole economy.
The Federal Coalition's comprehensive failure to address the issue has left many in the community frustrated and angry—particularly when climate impacts such as drought and winter bushfires are becoming more and more obvious.
With environmental organisations calling for greater leadership at the state level and communities spearheading local efforts, political parties and their candidates are expected to demonstrate climate literacy, outline their plans to cut emissions, and help communities cope with the climate impacts that are now locked in (and set to get worse).
Moreland Council passed a resolution at the October Council meeting to advocate “to State and Federal Governments by writing to the Ministers for Planning, Transport and Environment as well as local Members of State and Federal parliament, that investment should be focused on the establishment of a Very Fast Train to connect Australia’s cities instead of expanding the privately-owned airports.”
The Melbourne-Sydney flight route is the second busiest domestic flight route globally.(Note 1) A high speed train service could provide a 3 hour Melbourne CBD to Sydney CBD service as a cost effective and low emissions alternative to flying.
For domestic travel in the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor High Speed Rail makes enormous sense, and could be built within a ten year period and be operational by 2030.Read more
Victoria will go to the polls in less than two months. Community members concerned about climate change impacts are still waiting for opposition leader Matthew Guy and the Liberal party to release a policy to tackle climate change.
Matthew Guy will give a high-profile address on Victoria’s economic future at the Committee for Economic Development Australia in a fortnight. This speech is an opportune moment for the opposition to lay out its plan to rein in emissions and prepare our economy for climate impacts.
(Indeed, a speech on the future of Victoria’s economy that failed to acknowledge climate change would be shortsighted and a failure of political leadership.)
Polling shows that Victoria—Australia’s most progressive state—is ready for climate action. An in-depth study commissioned by Sustainability Victoria found that:
- 91 percent of Victorians accept some level of human causality for climate change
- 30 percent rate climate change in the top three issues facing the state
- 78 percent think climate change is an issue that requires urgent action now
- 84 percent support state Renewable Energy Targets
- 9 in 10 Victorians believe the state government should be taking action on climate change
- 8 in 10 want to live in a state that is leading on climate change
To date, the Labor government and the Greens have out performed Matthew Guy and the Coalition on climate action.Read more
The Victorian Greens have become the first political party in the state to support a Climate Budget with the release of their climate and energy policy ahead of the November election.
Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement saying fresh thinking about climate change policy is long overdue.
"The Greens announcement sets the bar for action on climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.Read more
Originally published at Renew Economy.
Victoria will go to the polls in less than three months. The outcome of the 2018 state election will have big implications for tackling climate change and rolling out renewable energy.
Given that pundits are saying it will be a “knife edge” election, every vote matters. And the policies Labor and the Coalition take to the election on climate change could decide who forms government.
Will Premier Daniel Andrews and Labor seize the initiative and bring an ambitious package of commitments to its election platform? Will Matthew Guy and the Liberal National Party protect a point of vulnerability with voters by modernising their stance on climate change and energy?Read more
We have the solutions to climate change. Humanity has known for decades that the burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gas into the atmosphere which drives atmospheric warming and worsens events such as droughts, bushfires, damaging storms, and rising sea levels.
In knowing the cause of climate change we have developed the solutions such as renewable energy technology, methods to restore and preserve carbon sinks, and sustainable economic models.
We have the solutions to climate change, however what Australia has lacked in the past is the political will to enact them. Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective is seeking to change this with the campaign for Victoria's first Climate Budget.
With a modernised state budget, Victoria can invest in the comprehensive actions we know we need to take to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts, such as intensifying bushfire seasons.
This blog presents a brief overview of the state budget, environmental funding, what a Climate Budget would look like, and why it's sorely needed.Read more
Vic Climate Solutions for the Grampians & Ballarat welcome, yet "planned approach" for climate investment needed
Friends of the Earth has welcomed the Andrews government's twin announcements of the Grampians New Energy Taskforce and funding for the Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Centre at Federation Uni in Ballarat, yet the group has called for a planned approach for investment in climate change solutions from the state government.
"By making investments like these the Andrews government is acknowledging the importance of acting on climate change," said Act on Climate Vic coordinator Leigh Ewbank.
"To make sure Victorians are getting the most bang for buck the Andrews government can take the next step and establish a Victorian Climate Change Action Fund to address this critical issue."Read more
With alarming melting of the polar icecaps underway, back-to-back bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, and Australia seeing a longer and more intense bushfire season, we have no time to waste when it comes to action on climate change.
Yet Australia's emissions are rising and funding for climate change initiatives has been slashed on the Federal Coalition government's watch. The policy failure leaves communities exposed to intensifying heatwaves, bushfires, droughts, and extreme weather.
It's time for Premier Daniel Andrews to push back on the Turnbull government and show leadership on climate change.
In 2017, the state Labor government established the $4.3 million Victorian Climate Change Innovation Partnerships (VCCIP) Grant Scheme to help community groups, local councils, businesses, and non-government organisations rollout innovative climate solutions.
But there's a problem... Demand for the climate grant scheme dramatically outstripped what was available.
The Act on Climate collective and community members took the case for climate action to the Victorian Parliament on World Environment Day 2018—presenting the government, opposition, and the Greens with a community statement calling for leadership.
The statement calls for party leaders—Premier Daniel Andrews, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, and Samantha Ratnam (Greens)—to consider the community's views and provide a response.
A few weeks earlier, on April 22, over fifty community members participated in a discussion about climate impacts, brainstormed positive solutions to the issue, and formed unanimous agreement on the need for Victorian political parties to take urgent action.
The ‘crowd-sourced’ ideas formed the basis of the statement which was handed over to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio; Minister and member for Albert Park, Martin Foley; Greens MP for Melbourne, Ellen Sandell; as well as Liberal party shadows for energy and environment, David Southwick and Nick Wakeling.
The supporters who joined us to handover the statement shared powerful testimony about their concerns regarding climate impacts with the Parliamentarians.
Bulgana Green Power Hub demonstrates economic benefits of climate action: Will local Liberal MP support jobs & investment?
"Victorian climate change solutions such as the Bulgana Green Power Hub bring jobs and investment to regional communities," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.
"The facility will contribute towards Victoria meeting its legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050--something the whole community can be proud of."