Posts tagged ‘vret’
The Victorian climate Act has passed state parliament. (See this Storify)
Victoria is back on track taking climate action with the passage of the upgraded Victorian Climate Change Act through parliament with support of the Greens and cross bench MLCs Fiona Pattern (Sex Party) and Western region independant James Purcell. The Liberal and National Parties opposed the Act and have vowed to abolish any Victorian renewable energy target. (See storifys on two of the LNP blockers: Bernie Finn and David Davis)
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said, “Victorians accept the science and know that climate change is not only real, but that government, industry and the wider community must work together to fight it.” Ms D’Ambrosio has been doing an incredible amount of positive work on energy and climate change for Victoria as the Minister.
Victoria becomes the first Australian state to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050. The action was taken note of by the UNFCCC.
In mid June Victoria stepped up it’s Renewable Energy target to 25 percent renewable energy share by 2020, and 40 percent by 2025. And this week Premier Daniel Andrews announced a permanent ban on onshore unconventional gas exploration and development and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
While phaseout of coal generators is important, and we are hopeful that Hazelwood closure is in the near term pipeline, these are important announcements for climate action at the state level. It shows the state Government is treating the climate issue and their citizens with the seriousness that it deserves.
But they’re now taking submissions from the community to determine what the actual targets should be.
About 12 per cent of Victoria’s power is currently generated from wind and solar renewable energy. Almost 85 per cent is generated from the polluting brown-coal power plants located in the Latrobe Valley, such as Hazelwood and Yallourn.
Candidates at the Brunswick candidates forum were asked a number of questions including whether Victoria should implement our own state-wide Renewable Energy Target (VRET) following the example of South Australia and the ACT.
Here is what I wrote in my report of the forum at Nofibs
Garrett, while supportive of renewables and action on climate change waffled on in her response including having a dig at the Greens in not supporting the CPRS scheme in 2009. However, she was accused of not answer the specific question regardomg setting a target.
Peter Allan again highlighted the lack of a direct answer from Garrett, “We don’t get an answer to a very specific question, which is what target should we be aiming for? There is no technical barrier for us to be moving very rapidly to renewable energy. There is no cost barrier. What there is is a political barrier. It is to do with vested interests that hold us back; the protection of the coal industry, the protection of large energy companies. That’s why we need a strong target.”
His statement brought strong applause from the audience.
Tim Read outlined very briefly the Greens policy of a Renewable Energy target for Victoria of a 40 pc reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, and close to 90 pc by 2030. Dean O’Callaghan advocated rapid reduction in emissions aiming for 100 pc reduction by 2020.
The Liberal Candidate Giuseppe Vellotti said “I fully support renewable energy targets” without explaining what those targets might be.
There were also relevant questions raised on East West Link, Recycling, and urban planning and development in Moreland.
The Napthine Government has been widely reported as one of the worst Government’s on its environment record for the last half century. See Gay Alcorn’s Guardian article : Victoria’s environmental record under scrutiny: how green is Denis Napthine?.
Even the Age has sought to editorially comment on The shameful absence of environmental policies.
The latest Climate Council report – The Australian Renewable Energy Race: Which States are Winning or Losing? – outlines that Victoria and NSW have moved from leaders to laggards in Australia’s renewable energy race.
It notes that:
- Victoria has excellent wind and solar resources, however, the restrictive policy environment makes it the least favourable investment environment of any Australian state for renewable energy. Victoria has moved to actively discourage renewable energy, so, in contrast to South
Australia, investment in renewable energy has dried up. Victoria’s
restrictive policy environment has cost the state an estimated $4 billion in lost investment and 3,000 jobs.
- Despite having 57% of the population Victoria and NSW only have 40% of renewable energy jobs.
- Victoria’s electricity comprises only 12% of Australia’s new renewable energy capacity and NSW 7%.
- Victoria currently has no emissions reduction targets or policies in place.
Friends of the Earth Yes to Renewables campaign has been very effective in highlighting the importance of developing Renewables in Victoria: