Last month, the Victorian Labor Party met for its annual conference on November 16 and 17. During the conference, Victorian Labor passed motions backing climate science and offshore wind.
The Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), a group of party members and supporters, called on the "next Albanese government" to '"rely on the best scientific advice when setting targets for emissions reduction and renewable energy generation" and stimulate new, sustainable, well-paying, unionised jobs through climate action & enviro protections’ (@LEAN_Victoria).
The backing of the Victorian Labor rank and file for climate and energy policy to be based on the "best scientific advice" sends a strong signal to the Andrews government in its upcoming decision on Emissions Reduction Targets.
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.
In contrast to the national performance on greenhouse gases, Victoria's emissions are on a downward trajectory. The Andrews government has an opportunity to build on the momentum by setting Emissions Reduction Targets that are bold and ambitious, but will it rise to the challenge?
Liz Reen, Mitzi Tuke, and community members from a local branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation met with local MP Paul Hamer to make the case for ambition:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s refusal to tackle the climate crisis was exposed last month. Community members affected by the unprecedented bushfires in NSW rebuked the conservative government’s ideological response to the emergency. The push back was so great that the PM went into hiding.
The Morrison government’s refusal to act underscores the need for Victoria to show greater leadership. With less than four months left to influence the Andrews government’s decision on interim Emissions Reduction Targets, we’re making every day count.
Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
Victoria's emissions on downward trajectory, but heavy lift needed to avoid dangerous climate impacts
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.
Friends of the Earth have welcomed the reappointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, saying a steady hand will guide policy in Victoria while policy chaos continues at the Federal level.
“The reappointment of Lily D’Ambrosio as the minister for climate change and energy is good news for efforts to tackle climate change,” said Leigh Ewbank, FoE climate change spokesperson.
“With climate and energy policy chaos continuing at the Federal level under the Coalition, a steady hand is needed in Victoria to rein in emissions and help Australia meet its international commitments."