MEDIA RELEASE: Friends of the Earth response to Victorian Emissions Reduction Targets announcement

MEDIA RELEASE - 2 MAY 2021

Friends of the Earth response to Victorian Emissions Reduction Targets announcement:

The Andrews government has announced Victoria’s climate strategy including Emissions Reduction Targets of 28-33 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and 45-50 percent by 2030.

The long-awaited announcement comes after a four-year community campaign for science-based targets and a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responses to the climate crisis must be based on the best-available science. The litmus test for climate policy is whether it is consistent with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The targets that have been announced by the Andrews government fall short of that test:

“We must acknowledge the gap that still exists between the targets that have been announced and what the best-available science tells us is necessary to avoid dangerous climate impacts,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Leigh Ewbank.

“It’s clear that the Federal government’s refusal to tackle the climate crisis has held back Victoria from adopting a stronger target.”

“The gulf between climate policy and science is shrinking with recent announcements from the United States, United Kingdom and others.”

“Victoria has put its shoulder to the wheel with its climate strategy while the Federal government is sitting on its hands, and we urge both to do more.”

Pressure mounts on Morrison govt to increase climate targets

The Andrews government’s announcement intensifies pressure on the Morrison government to increase national ambition ahead of the critically-important COP26 climate summit in November.

“Victoria’s Emissions Reduction Targets will help Australia tackle the climate crisis while the Morrison government is missing in action,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“Victoria’s climate targets are half what we need, but twice as ambitious as the Morrison government’s commitment.”

“The United States and Victoria will reduce emissions by up to 50 percent by 2030 and it’s time for the Morrison government to match them or beat them.”

Friends of the Earth will continue to work with communities to build the power needed for all levels of government to go further and faster on climate.

In 2020, Friends of the Earth worked with over 1,000 community members to write a People’s Climate Strategy for Victoria. On Friday 4 June, community members will deliver copies to every state and federal MP in Victoria to set out next steps for tackling the climate crisis.

Friends of the Earth would like to acknowledge the late Dr. Penny Whetton’s contribution to the Emissions Reduction Target-setting process.