Friends of the Earth "disappointed" with major delay to Victoria's climate targets

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 March 2018

Friends of the Earth "disappointed" with major delay to Victoria's climate targets

National environment group Friends of the Earth have expressed disappointment regarding a major delay to state climate change policy. 

The process for setting Victoria's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets has been delayed by almost a year.  

"The Andrews government promised to set the state's first Emissions Reduction Targets this year, but that process has been delayed by almost a year," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate change spokesperson. 

"With alarming melting of the polar icecaps and autumn bushfires, the Andrews government doesn't have time to waste on climate change."

"Victorians who are concerned about climate change will be disappointed by the delay and will look to Premier Daniel Andrews to ensure climate change is a feature of the May budget."

Victoria's Climate Change Framework, published in 2016, stated that the Andrews government would set the first interim Emissions Reduction Targets (for 2025 and 2030) in 2018. 

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As required by the Climate Change Act 2017, the state government must receive independent advice about interim Emissions Reduction Targets towards the legislated zero-net emissions by 2050 target. 

The Independent Panel's original Terms of Reference states it would provide advice to the Labor government by 8 June 2018. The panel has deferred giving advice to the government until 22 February 2019.

"The Turnbull government's do-nothing approach to climate change means we need to see more leadership from Victoria," added Leigh Ewbank.

"The fact this delay 'kicks the can' beyond the next state election and is doubly disappointing."

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Friends of the Earth have been closely tracking the Emissions Reduction Target process and have written to Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister Lily D'Ambrosio calling for science-based targets that keep warming to less than 1.5-2°Celsius.

Friends of the Earth will look to the May budget for a greater level of investment in climate change solutions from the Andrews government. 

"The Andrews government can ramp up investment to rein in emissions and protect communities from climate impacts while they wait for advice on emissions cuts," said Ewbank. 

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