Paul Hawken weighs in on Victoria’s Emissions Reduction Targets

Due to the
 Federal Coalition government’s continued failure on climate action, state and territory governments must step up and lead.

The Victorian government has the opportunity to establish itself as national leader on climate change by setting 
ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets (ERTs). The importance of these targets was articulated by renowned environmentalist Paul Hawken at the recent Climate Change Drawdown Summit in Bendigo.

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$2 billion Snowy windfall could help Victoria prepare for climate impacts

The Federal government’s purchase of Victoria’s share of the iconic Snowy Hydro Scheme will deliver a $2 billion windfall for the state.

Friends of the Earth say the rare windfall could fund Victoria’s first climate-focused state budget. 

“With the need to tackle climate change becoming more urgent, the state government must ramp up investment in measures to rein in emissions and protect communities from climate impacts,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson. 

“The Andrews government could use the $2 billion windfall from selling Victoria’s share of the iconic scheme to prepare our state for the 21st Century challenge of climate change.”

The Snowy Hydro Scheme is regarded as a visionary, nation-building project that had a lasting impact on Victoria. Will the windfall be used to invest in similarly visionary project? The state government has the money, does it have the political will?

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Victoria’s Emissions Reduction Targets: A Primer

The Federal Coalition government’s failure to act on climate change is well known. Recently released data shows national emissions are increasing and that Australia will fail to meet emissions cuts it pledged under the Paris Agreement.

Regressive political forces at the national level have seen states and territories step up and lead on climate change. But they’ll have to make the most of existing initiatives to maintain the momentum and prevent the worst climate impacts from occurring.


The Andrews government strengthened the Victorian
Climate Change Act in 2017 after winning the support of The Greens and crossbenchers. The Act legislates a target of zero net emissions by 2050 and requires governments to set interim Emissions Reduction Targets every five years.  

This year, the Andrews government committed to set Victoria's first two Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030. An independent panel has been assembled to advise the government on targets to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Strong targets are essential to action on climate change and will set the trajectory for how quickly our state reins in emissions.

At Act on Climate we understand that policy processes can be complicated. It can be difficult to figure out how we can take part in these processes. Because of this, we have put together this FAQ to explain the process.

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Climate Change Impacts on Northern Victoria


Climate change will significantly alter the life and culture of human societies. Australia is no exception.

When we consider climate change on the global level we begin to see overall trends, but it is easy to lose sight of the local detail. For example, we know that, globally, 2016 was the hottest year on record but we must ask what this means for local communities and landscapes.

It is clear that these global changes will play out locally.

In central and northern Victoria, it is important that we understand how climate change will impact on our future, so we can plan for it. As a trend, annual rainfall has significantly decreased in the region and the average temperature since 1950 has already increased by between 1 and 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Based on projections provided by the State of Victoria, it is clear that the Loddon and Mallee regions will be a hotter and drier place than they have already become. These changes will involve significant challenges for people living in the north of the state.

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Marie Clark's Climate Leadership: Antarctic Research Trip

Climate change is the big issue of our times. People from all walks of life such as Maffra science teacher Marie Clark are stepping up and getting active.

Marie Clark first started her journey in science growing up in Creswick when she received a microscope as a Christmas gift from her mother. In February 2018, Marie will be one of 80 women from across the globe travelling to Antarctica as part of a climate change leadership program.

Act on Climate coordinator Leigh Ewbank had a quick chat with Marie ahead of her inspiring research trip to Antarctica….

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The Federal Coalition's Climate Failure: An Overview


Despite hearing concerning updates from scientists and seeing worrying climate-influenced disasters across the world last year, the Federal government has failed when it comes to climate change. 

Recently released data shows national emissions are increasing and that Australia will fail to meet emissions cuts it pledged under the Paris Agreement.

Since taking office in 2013, the Abbott/Turnbull governments have
 failed to deliver a policy agenda to rein in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions—which are among the world's largest on a per capita basis. It has done little to prepare communities across the country for the climate impacts that are (unfortunately) now unavoidable. 

The Coalition's poor record on climate change policy isn't from inaction or incompetence. Evidence shows it has actively undermined efforts to address the issue. Take a look... 

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Climate Change Impacts Victoria: An Introduction


Climate change is the challenge of our times. If global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are unsuccessful then we'll see intensifying impacts in Australia and abroad. 

Here in Victoria, the state’s electricity sector is transitioning away from polluting coal and gas towards clean renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and storage. Not only is the shift an essential first step towards reining in greenhouse emissions that cause climate change, but it's one that will create thousands of jobs, attract investment to our state, and help develop a new industry.

"When the winds of change blow, some build walls while others build windmills." - Chinese proverb

Unfortunately, some politicians are using this period of change for point scoring. Some Members of Parliament and their surrogates will take any opportunity to slow the transition no matter how spurious their arguments. Electricity supply and the distribution network is (intentionally?) conflated in public commentary, while renewable energy is blamed for any problem that occurs.

Despite all the noise generated by the #SpringSt debate, we must remember that #ClimateImpactsVic. Here's a brief introduction to the issue... 

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Community members respond to record global heat


New analysis has identified 2017 as the world's hottest year without an El Nino boost and confirms the hottest five-year period on record. 

The findings have alarmed community members from country Victoria who want to see more leadership on climate change from state politicians. 

Ballarat resident Sandra Hawkins said "another record hot year means we need to reduce emissions as a matter of urgency."

"We’re talking temperature increases that affect food production, transport systems, survival of ecosystems we’re dependent on, the effectiveness of health and emergency services, and habitability of whole areas," added Sandra Hawkins.

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Act on Climate: The story so far...

Friends of the Earth Melbourne (FoE) kicked off the Act on Climate campaign in January 2017. The new project was established as key campaigns for a legislated ban on unconventional gas and ambitious Victorian Renewable Energy Targets concluded.

The main objective of the new campaign was to start building a climate policy agenda for Victoria. With a five-year campaign cycle coming to a close, it was essential to put new ideas on the table and start building community power for another round of climate action.

What follows is the story of the campaign so far…

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Climate Change & Energy in Victoria: Community Infosheet

Energy policy has been a hot topic in 2017. But with misinformation out there in the community, it's time to get informed and set the record straight. 

Victoria has seen French company Engie closed the state’s largest coal power plant, Hazelwood, in March 2017 after operating ten years longer than its technical life. 

We've also seen the Andrews government legislate Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET) with support from The Greens, and crossbenchers Suzanna Sheed, Fiona Patten, and James Purcell. This initiative will rollout up to 5,400 MW of solar and wind farms across the state by 2025.  

Unfortunately, some politicians are using this period of change for point scoring. And it'll take leadership from the community to get the facts out there. 

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