Industry will face strong community opposition to push to 'rip up' gas drilling moratorium

MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 17 Jan
 
Industry will face strong community opposition to push to 'rip up' gas drilling moratorium

Industry is ramping up its campaign to have Victoria's moratorium on gas drilling ripped up, but Friends of the Earth says they will face strong community opposition.

"Communities fought long and hard to win a ban on fracking and moratorium on conventional gas drilling in Victoria, and will ," said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

Between 2011 and 2017, hundreds of thousands of community members in rural and regional Victoria campaigned for a permanent ban on fracking and moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling.

The unprecedented community campaign was so powerful that the government, opposition, and micro parties voted in support of protecting farmland from gas drilling.  

"Has industry forgotten the unprecedented community campaign to protect farmland and water from risky gas drilling?," asked Cam Walker.

"Developers should respect the fact that Victorians revoked the social licence for gas drilling."

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Victoria's emissions on downward trajectory, but heavy lift needed to avoid dangerous climate impacts

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 Nov 2019

Victoria's emissions on downward trajectory, but heavy lift needed to avoid dangerous climate impacts


Victoria's annual greenhouse emissions performance data has been released today, as the Andrews government enters a critical decision-making period on state Emissions Reduction Targets. 

The Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2019 shows the state's emissions are on a downward trajectory, though Friends of the Earth says a heavier lift is needed to avoid dangerous climate impacts such as intensifying heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, and sea level rise:

"Community members are looking to the Andrews government to show greater leadership while the Morrison government refuses to tackle the climate crisis," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate spokesperson.

"Victoria's emissions are on a downward trajectory, but a heavier lift is needed to protect communities from dangerous climate impacts."

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MEDIA RELEASE: Another step forward for Vic’s renewable energy transition: VRET bill in Parliament

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Andrews govt emissions cuts must limit warming to 1.5°C to protect Victorian communities from climate impacts

MEDIA RELEASE: 6 June 2019

Andrews govt emissions cuts must limit warming to 1.5°C to protect Victorian communities from climate impacts


Friends of the Earth says emissions cuts to limit global warming to 1.5°C will be needed from the Andrews government in order to protect communities from dangerous climate impacts.

The group’s call comes as Independent Expert Panel advice on Victoria’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets is tabled in the Parliament.

The panel, led by former Federal climate minister Greg Combet, recommends the Andrews government reduce emissions by 32-39 percent below 2005 levels in 2025 and 45-60 below 2005 levels in 2030.  

Friends of the Earth say greater ambition is needed from the state government when it comes to cutting emissions.
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Victorian Budget Response 2019

Friends of the Earth's Victorian Budget Response

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 May 2019

Andrews govt budget delivers for solar homes, now to deliver for climate action across the economy

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s funding for the $1.3 billion Solar Homes program and says the $545 million down payment creates a platform for a heavy lift on climate action.

“The Andrews government’s 2019/20 budget delivers for solar and creates a platform upon which it can deliver ambitious action on climate,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

“With the re-election of the Federal Coalition government, now more than ever Victoria must show leadership on climate change and a just transition.”

The Andrews Labor government must set interim Emissions Reduction Targets by 31 March 2020, release a Climate Strategy the same year, and roll out adaptation plans from 2021.

“A big funding boost is needed to ensure Victoria's efforts to tackle the climate crisis get traction,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“When it comes to tackling climate change, the rubber hits the road at the state level.”

“The community is looking to the Labor government to have vision when it comes to reining in emissions and protecting communities from climate impacts.”

While the government’s investment in solar is a positive outcome for climate action, a shift is still needed in transport.

Budget 2019/20 includes new investment in public transport and active transport, however it is dwarfed by investment in he controversial North East Link toll road.

“New investment in public transport and active transport is welcome, yet it is dwarfed by $15.8 billion for the controversial North East Link toll road,” said Rachel Lynskey, FoE Sustainable Cities spokesperson.

“Roads will receive twice as much funding as public transport. A budget with a strong focus on climate action would correct this imbalance as quickly as possible.”

Friends of the Earth says investing in the construction of Melbourne Metro 2 is the best option for the Labor government to deliver a secure pipeline of jobs and improve public transport in the medium term. The group says it is the logical next step once Melbourne Metro 1 is completed.

Friends of the Earth will launch a campaign for the Andrews government to deliver Victoria’s first Climate Budget later in 2019.

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Landmark Star of the South offshore wind farm gets first tick from Feds

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 March 2019

After months of delay by the federal Coalition, Australia’s first major offshore wind farm, the Star of the South Energy Project proposed off the South Gippsland coast, has received approval for an exploration licence.

Environment Group Friends of the Earth welcome news that Minister for Energy Angus Taylor has signed off on the initial exploration license for Star of the South after months of delaying a decision.

“The Star of the South offshore wind farm will be a game changer for action on climate change and Australia’s energy system,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

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Climate action gains traction with new wind farm proposed for Latrobe Valley



MEDIA RELEASE: 28 March 2019


Climate action gains traction with new wind farm proposed for Latrobe Valley

Environment group Friends of the Earth Melbourne are pleased to see an new wind farm proposed for the Latrobe Valley and say the project shows state efforts to tackle climate change are gaining momentum.

The group that led the community campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target says the Delburn Wind Farm is a sign the state’s energy sector is in transition.

“Victoria’s energy system is shifting from polluting fossil fuels towards clean renewable energy and it’s good news for efforts to tackle climate change,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s climate spokesperson.

According to proponent OSMI, the Delburn Wind Farm would generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes, cut Victoria’s carbon emissions by 980,000 tonnes of carbon per annum, and operate for 25 years.

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Press Release: Victorians to dump recycling on parliament

recycling_to_parliament.jpgOn Tuesday 19 March at 8:30 am, hundreds of Victorians will gather at the steps of state parliament to say “if you send our recycling to landfill, we will bring it to you.” Community members will put their weekly recycling on the steps of parliament to highlight government inaction on the issue and demand change.

High-quality photos of the action for use are AVAILABLE HERE, credit Julian Meehan

In recent weeks, the cracks in the Australian recycling system have been exposed.  China ceased taking our recycling in July 2018, resulting in a major loss of market.  Without markets to sell to, recycling companies are stockpiling, leading to dangerous conditions and possible fire hazards.  Two major recycling locations were closed by the EPA on 21 February, and a third closed voluntarily shortly after, resulting in 27 councils around Melbourne sending recycling to landfill.  Short term solutions have been found for some of these councils, but several are still having to resort to binning our recycling.

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Victorian Greens, first party to support 100% renewables and a Climate Budget in new climate & energy plan

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 September 2018

Victorian Greens, first party to support 100% renewables and a Climate Budget in new climate & energy plan   

The Victorian Greens have become the first political party in the state to call for 100 percent renewable energy and support a Climate Budget with the release of their climate and energy policy ahead of the November election.

Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement saying fresh thinking about climate change policy is long overdue. 

"The Greens announcement sets the bar for action on climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt’s big renewables announcement lays the foundation for climate leadership as state election approaches

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 Sept 2018

Andrews govt’s big renewables announcement lays the foundation for climate leadership as state election approaches

Environment group Friends of the Earth welcome the Andrews government’s announcement today of six new wind and solar farms totalling 928 megawatts to meet the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and say it lays the foundation to act on climate change.

Friends of the Earth kicked off the grassroots campaign for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target in early 2014 and say today's announcement is a key milestone for the state's renewable energy future as it heads toward 40 percent renewables by 2025.

"Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement represents the single biggest renewable energy auction in Australia’s history."

"Victoria’s newest wind and solar farms will put downward pressure on power prices and create 1,500 jobs while cutting polluting greenhouse gas emissions," said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.

"The successful reverse auction shows climate action is good for jobs, power prices, and our economy."

Friends of the Earth say the announcement lays the foundation for another round of renewable energy investment.

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