Friends of the Earth welcomes $1 million worth of grants to support 13 community-energy projects across Victoria, but say the Andrews government must must scale up funding to match the demand.
"Communities are way out in front of governments when it comes to tackling the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.
"The Andrews government's grants for community-energy projects acknowledge this leadership and will create jobs while cutting emissions."
Friends of the Earth say the Andrews government can build on the momentum and create thousands more jobs by establishing a dedicated $100 million Victorian Climate Change Action Fund.
"If the government can support 13 community energy projects across the state with $1 million, imagine what could be accomplished with a dedicated climate action fund," said Leigh Ewbank.
Over the last twelve months, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has heard from people across the state who are taking things into their own hands to cut emissions and protect themselves from dangerous climate impacts.
Our testimony to the Environment & Planning committee noted that demand for previous grant schemes dramatically outstripped what was available to support the community.
Friends of the Earth say a dedicated fund is long overdue to provide the community with all the support it needs:
"When we're facing a climate crisis, it's not good enough that positive initiatives from the community are missing out on funding," said Ewbank.
Friends of the Earth say the Victorian Climate Change Action Fund would help the government meet its legislated commitment to climate by providing grants to:
- Upgrade public libraries, schools, community centres, neighbourhood houses, and sporting clubs to become Climate Emergency Refuge Centres equipped with solar, batteries, efficient heating and cooling, emergency communications, water tanks, etc.
- Local governments to develop and implement Zero-Net Emissions (Z-Net) plans to achieve zero emissions across all sectors of the economy in ten years.
With the Morrison government refusing to tackle the climate crisis, community members are looking to the Andrews government to show greater leadership.