Victoria’s Andrews government has today announced a visionary plan to reach 95% Renewables by 2035, end the state’s reliance on coal generation, and establish a publicly owned corporation that will see the public hold a controlling stake in new renewable energy projects.
“This is a breakthrough moment for Victoria’s plans to transform the energy system to act on the climate crisis, that will accelerate the rollout of renewables and put it in public hands,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.
Friends of the Earth says the commitment is a significant step to reversing the problems caused by privatisation.
“Privatisation has never worked for Victoria and the wounds have been deep, especially in the Latrobe Valley” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s Gippsland Community Organiser.
“It’s great to see the Andrews government listening to stakeholders, taking a hands-on approach and bringing energy back into public ownership” added Farmer.
While there remains work to be done to fully align Victoria’s climate policies with the goal of keeping global warming below 1.5C, the step-up in emissions reduction commitments is momentous.
“The announcement of an Emissions Reduction Target of 75-80% by 2035 is a major step-up in ambition. It is a jump of 30% from our 2030 Emissions Reduction Target of 45-50%” said Anna Langford, Friends of the Earth’s climate justice spokesperson.
“The floods currently hitting Victorian communities are a clear sign that the climate crisis is here and now, at only 1.1 degrees of warming. The litmus test for the Emissions Reduction Targets is whether they align with the best-available scientific advice on how global warming can be limited to 1.5C,” said Langford.
The question now for the Victorian Liberal Party is whether it commits to matching the Andrews government’s level of ambition ahead of the election.
“The Victorian Liberals finally began to make up for their lag in climate policy ambition this year when they committed to upholding the state’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target of 45-50%. Will the Victorian Liberals now match these game-changing climate and energy commitments?” asked Langford.