Posted on 26. Jul, 2010 in Greening Victoria

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 and cutting emissions from brown coal power stations over the next four years will see Victoria lead Australia in taking action on climate change.

Launching Taking Action for Victoria’s Future – The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan, the Premier, John Brumby today said Victoria continued to support an emission trading scheme but was determined to push forward on climate change actions to secure new clean energy investment for the state.

“Our Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and create a climate of new economic opportunity,” Mr Brumby said.

“Our Government’s disciplined economic management means Victoria is in a position to lead the country in tackling climate change and lock in our sustainability for the future.

“In our Victorian Climate Change White Paper, we commit to 10 key actions to drive down emissions, drive up job and investment opportunities and secure the future for Victorian families as the world shifts to a low-carbon future.”

The action plan outlines the Governments’ commitment to a reduction of green house gas emission from the state’s brown coal-fired power generators.

Mr Brumby said more than 90 per cent of Victoria’s electricity was generated through coal-fired power and the Government would be committing to reducing annual emissions by up to four million tonnes over the next four years, achieving a total saving around 28 million tonnes by 2020.

“The most cost-effective way to clean up our environment and achieve this reduction in greenhouse gas over the next four years is to close two of the eight units at Hazelwood Power Station,” Mr Brumby said.

“The only way to begin this staged closure of the Hazelwood Power Station is for the Victorian Government and the Commonwealth to work together with Hazelwood’s owners International Power and other stakeholders.

“Without policy certainty in relation to Hazelwood, new gas generation – and all the benefits in brings in terms of lower emissions and new job opportunities – is likely to be indefinitely deferred. Victoria needs certainty in relation to Hazelwood to both reduce emissions and bring forward new clean energy supplies.

“The Government intends to engage in discussions with Victoria’s brown coal-fired generators and intends to conduct an open book process to ensure the most cost effective way of reducing emissions.

“Our Government has already commenced preliminary discussions with International Power and other stakeholders in Hazelwood and intend to embark on discussions with the Commonwealth Government once the Federal election is completed.”

“Our Government is prepared to take the tough decisions and deliver the strong leadership required to drive down emissions and secure the future for Victorian families.”

Energy and Resources Minister Peter Batchelor said the Government was calling on the Federal Government to provide the necessary financial support to Victoria to ensure the closure happens sooner rather than later, supporting our actions to introduce a staged closure of Hazelwood.

The Victorian Government will also shortly introduce a Climate Change Bill to Parliament that would make law a target to cut emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the Bill would establish obligations on the government to measure and report on climate change and ensure climate change considerations are included in Government decisions.  

“By reducing our overall emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 2000 levels, Victoria will lead the nation in setting a benchmark to lowering emissions,” Mr Jennings said.

“Achieving the target will require a transformation in the way we generate and use electricity and the policies outlined in the Victorian Climate Change White Paper – increases in renewable energy, slashing emissions from brown coal generators, doubling the energy efficiency target, assistance for households to reduce their emissions and increases in funding for community action – will drive that transformation.

“Our commitment is that by 2014 Victoria will have made significant progress on reductions and will be in a position to make even greater changes to achieve the 20 per goal by 2020.”

Mr Brumby said the Victoria had led Australia in taking climate change action.  “Victoria was the first state to set a mandatory energy efficiency target for electricity retailers, adopt the 5 star energy efficiency standard for new homes and introduce a mandatory 10 per cent renewable energy target to drive new drive new investment,” Mr Brumby said.

“We have a track record of leading the nation on climate change, including our $175 million Jobs for the Future Economy Action Plan, our $105 million Land and Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Change White Paper, the $23 million Climate Communities initiative and the $19 million earmarked for climate change action in the Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria. But we want to build on that.”

Key actions in The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan include:

  • New legislation to cut Victoria’s greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emission from brown coal-fired power generators;
  • Supporting cleaner and more efficient homes;
  • Delivering innovative transport solutions;
  • Creating new opportunities in agriculture and forestry;
  • Greener government programs; and
  • Making Victoria the solar state.


Mr Brumby said actions released today in the Victorian Climate Change White Paper would not only lead Australia in tackling climate change but would also drive around $10 billion of new investment for the state.

“New investments in cleaner technologies and developments in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars of new investment and create thousands of Victorian jobs,” Mr Brumby said.

Mr Brumby also said Victorian Climate Change White Paper committed $329 million for an upcoming White Paper Implementation Plan which would be released later this year.

“This builds on the $322 million the Victorian Government had already committed over the past eight months to tackle climate change, bring our total investment in climate change actions to $651 million,” he said.

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