VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT DELIVERS CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT DELIVERS CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION

Posted on 06. Sep, 2010 in Greening Victoria

Victorians can celebrate real action on climate change after a 20 per cent reduction in Victoria’s emissions by 2020 was enshrined in law during the last parliamentary sitting week in the new Climate Change Act.

Delivering on a key commitment in Taking Action for Victoria’s Future – The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan, Member for Clayton Hong Lim said the Government was determined to ensure Victoria keeps leading the nation on climate change.

“We know we need to reduce our emissions, build resilient and sustainable communities, create jobs and put Victoria ahead of the curve as we move toward a low carbon economy,” Hong Lim said.

“This Act will provide the foundation for all of these important actions.”

The Climate Change Act 2010:

  • Establishes the Government’s 20 per cent reduction target in law;
  • Gives the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and ensures no new power stations using conventional brown coal technology are built in Victoria;
  • A legal framework to encourage the reforestation of private and public land to create carbon sinks that can be a new source of income for landowners;
  • Creates voluntary Climate Covenants for Government, community, industry and regional bodies to help them take the lead on climate change action;
  • Embeds climate change impacts into a range of Government decisions;
  • Enables the Climate Communities Program to further promote local action to tackle climate change; and,
  • Requires a Climate Change Adaptation Plan to be developed every four years to prepare for the climate change impacts that cannot be avoided.

 

“The community can be assured of Victoria’s progress toward our target by the requirement in the Act for Victoria’s emissions and climate science to be reported on every two years,” Hong Lim said.

“Despite the disappointing defeat of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by the Greens and climate skeptics in the Liberal and National Parties in the Australian Senate the Brumby Labor Government still strongly supports a national price on carbon.

“However, we can no longer wait for this to occur. Victoria must take the lead by doing its part now to contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions.

“While the Victorian parliament made history by supporting this Bill, it was unfortunate that opposition leader Ted Baillieu couldn’t be bothered participating in the debate.

“Several Opposition MPs also again used the parliament as a forum for both ridiculing the science of climate change and the motives of those who have taken action in their own lives to lower their carbon footprint.”

“The Liberal Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe even claimed: ‘Climate change has become the new religion’ and the Liberal Member for Western Victoria Bernie Finn said ‘…the hysteria surrounding this whole climate change debate reflects the need for the international left to have something with which to scare people and to hang its hat on’.

“I’m proud to say that the people of my electorate and Victorians generally have overwhelmingly accepted the scientific consensus on climate change and are demanding action to reduce our emissions – and I’m very pleased the Brumby government is delivering.

“The Brumby Labor Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and creating a climate of opportunity,” Hong Lim said.

Climate Change Policies: Stakeholder Comments

On the White Paper and the 20% target:

Kelly O’Shanassy – CEO Environment Victoria

“Finally, a political leader actually leading on climate change.” Twitter – 26/7/10

“Victoria’s new [20 per cent] target is a strong leadership move that is head and shoulders above any other state or national emissions reduction target in Australia.” Source: Victoria set to lead the nation in reducing greenhouse pollution, media release, 26/7/10

Cam Walker – Campaigns Co-ordinator Friends of the Earth

Said it was “bold” and a “game changer” for the climate debate.

He also noted that the government was filling a political vacuum caused by, amongst other things, “…the fact that the Victorian Coalition is missing in action on the issue of climate change” Source: Climate White Paper a Game Changer, media release, 26/7/10

Cam Walker – Campaigns Co-ordinator Friends of the Earth

“Victoria is now well ahead of any other Australian state when it comes to climate change policy.”

Source: Victoria takes leading steps on climate change, The Age, 1/9/10

Ian Porter – CEO Alternative Technology Association

“The combination of a broad coverage of all emitting sectors, the depth of the regulatory and fiscal tools used, and the strength of the emissions target, make this announcement stand out amongst climate change policies in Australia.” Source: Climate Change White Paper Positions Victoria as a Strong Leader on Climate Change, media release, 26/7/10

Kate Colvin, Policy and Public Affairs Manager of the VCOSS

“Victoria’s landmark commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one fifth is an important step that demonstrates real leadership on climate change”

Source: Climate Change White Paper shows real leadership, media release, 26/7/10

Karen Corr – Bendigo Sustainability Group wrote to the Premier to congratulate the government, saying: “I believe that Victoria is now well and truly leading the way for Australia.”

Specifically in response to the ‘solar state’ announcement:

Greens Senator Christine Milne:

 praised our commitment to a large-scale feed-in tariff for solar power and “urged both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to embrace this world-leading policy at a national level” Source: media release

Max Sylvester, co-founder Victorian solar company, Energy Matters:

“I think Victoria is a great example to the rest of the Australia, and to the world, of progressive renewable energy policy” 

Michael Goldsworth, solar company Silex CEO:

“In fact you’d have to travel a long way around the world to find a state or provincial government which is anywhere near matching what is happening here in Victoria.”

Specifically on the Climate Change Bill

Cam Walker – Campaigns Co-ordinator Friends of the Earth

“This is a significant Bill which has the potential to stabilise and then drive down our greenhouse emissions, while also creating certainty for investors and industry, and many new jobs across the state”

Source: ‘Climate Bill becomes law’, FoE Media release September 3 2010

Please visit: http://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/index.html

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