Andrews govt funding for community energy is welcome, but must be scaled up to match demand

Friends of the Earth welcomes $1 million worth of grants to support 13 community-energy projects across Victoria, but say the Andrews government must must scale up funding to match the demand. 

"Communities are way out in front of governments when it comes to tackling the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

"The Andrews government's grants for community-energy projects acknowledge this leadership and will create jobs while cutting emissions."

Friends of the Earth say the Andrews government can build on the momentum and create thousands more jobs by establishing a dedicated $100 million Victorian Climate Change Action Fund.

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Vic Climate Targets set by "end of this year", says Minister 

Victorian Minister for Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio has flagged the deadline for the state government to set long-awaited Emissions Reduction Targets.

Australian Energy Daily reports Minister D'Ambrosio told a CEDA webinar on Friday (11 Sept) that the Andrews government would set interim Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30 by the end of the year:

"Not only will we be setting those interim emissions targets by the end of this year, we will have a budget consideration that goes to the various pledges that we will be making in important sectors that include energy, include transport, industrial processes, agriculture and LULUCF [land use, land-use change, and forestry]," said Minister Lily D'Ambrosio.  

"I'm actually looking forward to announcing what our new targets will be for further reductions in emissions as we get closer to the end of this year."

The Minister's public comments are the first to detail a timeline for setting targets since the government announced it had deferred a decision due to the escalating pandemic. The targets were originally expected to be set by March 31 and announced in June.   
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Act on Climate update: Community buoyed by Big Win

After the many months of lockdown, the decision to open up Victoria to fossil gas exploration, and the deferral of Emissions Reduction Targets, we finally have some GOOD NEWS:

This week, the Andrews government announced a plan to repower all the state’s schools, hospitals, and metro trains with renewable energy!  

The announcement has put even more spring in our step as we continue our campaign for Climate Justice. 

Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...

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Act on Climate update: A big month for the Campaign

It's a difficult time for communities across Victoria. We’ve been in lockdown for many months now. Yet the rate of COVID-19 transmission now occurring means we still have a way to go.

We understand that the introduction of a level-4 lockdown in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire as well as level-3 restrictions for regional Victoria is a bit deflating. Be safe, take care of yourself, and look after your community. And remember: We're in this together. 

Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective has masked up and maintains its commitment to Climate Justice. 

Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...

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STATEMENT: Response to the Vic govt's update on Emissions Reduction Targets

Friends of the Earth Melbourne expresses great disappointment that the Victorian government has deferred setting the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. It is the second time this has occurred.

When the Andrews government strengthened the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017  it introduced deadlines to ensure our state’s response to the climate crisis is swift and steady. It demonstrated a keen awareness of the urgency of the issue when enshrining these deadlines in law.

Since 2017, community members across the state have been calling on the government to set science-based targets that contribute towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C.

It is an outcome that would accelerate the rollout of renewables, increase investment in sustainable transport, require greater protection of forests and the natural world, and help protect communities from intensifying impacts. 

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Act on Climate update: Committed to Climate Justice

It's heartening to see our movement's incredible resolve and commitment to climate justice despite months of lockdown and a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. 

With the Andrews government leading the response to the pandemic, it's up to the community to make sure that climate action remains on the agenda. This mission is of particular importance ahead of the forthcoming announcement of Emissions Reduction Targets, the Victorian budget in October, and development of a state climate strategy.  

Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...

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Friends of the Earth launch People's Climate Strategy for Victoria: Now for action!

Friends of the Earth Melbourne's Act on Climate collective officially launched its push to write a People's Climate Strategy for Victoria with over one thousand people watching the online launch via Zoom and Facebook live. The strong level of interest is a vote of confidence in the idea.

Writing a People's Climate Strategy for Victoria to present to the Andrews government later this year is a bold and ambitious undertaking. But shaping the state's first climate strategy is an opportunity that can't be missed.

The Victorian government is required to prepare and rollout a climate strategy every five years out to 2050. Our efforts in coming months will influence the Labor government's own plan (which must be prepared by October 31) as well as all those that follow it.  

Friends of the Earth and the Act on Climate collective cant do it alone... 

The collective needs your help to ensure the strategy is robust, capable of getting us to zero emissions as-soon-as-possible, and leaves no Victorian behind.

Here are the immediate next steps...

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Act on Climate update: Lockdown continues, so does our campaign for climate justice

It has been a difficult time for the community. Yet our movement has shown incredible resolve and commitment to climate action in the face of these challenges. 

Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective has been keeping a watchful eye on the state of play. We're making sure that—despite the Federal government's refusal to act—Victoria's steps to tackle the climate crisis are bigger and bolder than ever. 

Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...

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Friends of the Earth welcome Andrews govt funding for climate impacts on the coast, now for deep emissions cuts

Friends of the Earth welcome the Andrews government's announcement of $11 million to help communities respond to climate impacts on Victoria's coastline.

The state government's swift response comes after rising sea levels and intensifying storm surges in recent weeks have damaged infrastructure in Apollo Bay and Inverloch. Beach access points, walking paths, and roads have been affected.  

"Coastal communities need all the help they can get when it comes to the challenges posed by climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.

"Funding from the Andrews government will help communities with immediate responses to the damage caused by rising sea levels and intensifying storm surges."

"Greater funding will be needed to cope with the impacts of climate change on our coastline," added Ewbank.

"When will the Federal government provide funding for communities on the frontline of climate impact?"

Friends of the Earth say that community members are looking to the state government to show greater leadership on climate change while the Morrison government refuses to act.

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Act on Climate update: Lockdown edition

It's a strange time to be a grassroots climate campaigner. The Act on Climate collective miss hitting the road across Victoria and working with people on the ground. Nonetheless, our efforts to champion climate justice must continue—even if they're largely online at the moment.

As you know, our long push for science-based Emissions Reduction Targets concluded on March 31 and we're now waiting for the Andrews government to announce the targets.

Yet changes to the parliamentary sitting schedule in response to the pandemic means the ten-sitting-day window has been pushed back. We might not get an announcement until Thursday 6 August. 

We're fired up to get cracking on our next big campaign so we're not going to wait. We'll make an announcement next week with our next steps and ways you can get involved (so keep your eyes peeled).  

Until then, here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...

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