The Climate Council welcomes comments from Victorian Liberal opposition leader, Michael O’Brien calling on the Federal Government to step up its ambition on climate policy.
Mr O’Brien has told The Age newspaper his party would now support the idea of long-term emissions reduction targets, saying Victoria could lead the nation.
“The catastrophic fires show us how vulnerable Victoria is to climate change. It is critical that we have a bipartisan commitment to action. It is heartening to see that the Victorian opposition is taking the issues seriously,” said Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie.
“Australian states and territories are leading the way on climate change. Victoria could see significant benefits from taking a leadership role,” said Ms McKenzie.
“The Federal Government has a long way to go to adopt a credible climate policy, but at least there’s growing bipartisanship nationally with Scott Morrison acknowledging that climate change has exacerbated the current bushfires,” she said.
“Right now Australians across the country are suffering at the hands of climate change with unprecedented bushfires, severe drought and extreme heat. This will continue – and get worse – without urgent reductions in global emissions,” said Ms McKenzie.
“Luckily, Australia is the sunniest and one of the windiest countries in the world. We could be a clean energy powerhouse if our Federal Government stepped up,” she said.
“Victoria, as Mr O’Brien pointed out, has the potential to lead on the clean energy transition, growing its economy and jobs,” said Ms McKenzie.