Victorian climate targets are doable, with care

“Victoria’s medium-term emissions targets are clearly ambitious, but also show a sober regard for the challenges in further accelerating an already rapid rate of change,” said Tim Piper, Victorian Head of national employer organisation Ai Group today.

“Nationally consistent approaches are typically preferable to build scale and offer a simpler environment for businesses that operate across Australia. We hope for fuller collaboration between the States and the Federal Government as net zero emissions goals become universal. The truly heavy lifting will come as we look beyond the electricity sector and beyond 2030. Today’s announcements flag a lot more work to come.

“On existing trends, especially in electricity, Victoria’s 2025 and 2030 targets look achievable; the State is halfway there already. But we should not underestimate the work needed to keep the electricity sector stable through that transition. The carefully stage-managed exit of Yallourn gives some confidence that the State Government is taking this seriously.

“Importantly, the numbers and policies announced today don’t appear to come with any sudden shocks for Victoria’s manufacturing sector. The Government is foreshadowing very important consultation on the transition for natural gas, which is currently an essential input to many industries and a part of life for millions of Victorians. We will work with the Government on finding efficient pathways that build competitiveness through the options that work best for different gas users, whether they be electrification, biogas, hydrogen or otherwise.

“The zero emissions vehicle package is substantial and should hopefully offset the negative impact of the Government’s distance based charge; it would still be sensible to also push the start of that charge back.

“We welcome the State’s intention to work with other governments towards coordinated approaches on transport, and we encourage them to do likewise on coordinating energy investment policies,” Mr Piper said.

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