Victoria’s three remaining coal plants would be closed within the decade under a significant climate bill set to be introduced by the Greens tomorrow.
The Energy Legislation Amendment (Transition from Coal) Bill 2022 would legislate an end date for coal mining and burning in Victoria of 2030.
The Greens have released this Bill alongside a major climate policy package for the November Victorian election, which includes a timeline for coal plant closures between now and 2030.
This would bring the closure of Yallourn forward to 2024 (previously 2028), Loy Yang A to 2027 (previously 2040 – 2045) and Loy Yang B to 2030 (previously 2046).
As part of the reform the Greens would also push for a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers and secure funding to 2035 for an Independent Latrobe Valley Authority. The Authority would be tasked with the closure of the coal plants and the development of new industries for the region such as offshore wind, clean manufacturing and mine site rehabilitation.
In addition to bringing forward our transition out of coal, the Greens’ bill would also increase Victoria’s legislated renewable energy target to 100 per cent by 2030.
This would be supported by a $10 billion dollar investment in renewable energy generation, storage and grid upgrades.
Victorian Greens climate spokesperson, Dr Tim Read, said coal and gas were among the leading causes of the climate crisis, yet Victoria was still getting two-thirds of its electricity from mining and burning coal.
He added that the Victorian Labor Government was being dishonest to coal workers and the Latrobe Valley community by not having any meaningful plan to move the community beyond coal, when many energy experts predict coal plants will close sooner than scheduled.
The Greens’ bill will be introduced this week and then debated and voted on in September.
As stated by Victorian Greens acting climate spokesperson, Dr Tim Read:
“The writing is on the wall for Victoria’s brown coal plants which burn Australia’s most polluting coal.
“They’re old, unreliable and spew toxic pollution that is harming the health of local communities.
“The United Nations, global scientists and environment groups have made it clear that tackling the climate crisis requires states like Victoria to close all coal power stations by 2030. But right now Victoria’s coal plants are licensed by Labor to operate as late as 2048.
“Our bill would legislate an end date for coal burning and mining and set a more urgent timeline to close our three coal plants, with a just transition for workers and communities.
“It would also increase our renewable energy target to 100 per cent by 2030, to make Victoria a global leader in tackling climate change.
“For too long Victoria has lagged behind other states and countries when it comes to transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels, but this bill gives us a chance to go further and faster in tackling the climate crisis.”