MEDIA RELEASE: Momentum building for ambitious climate targets after Andrews govt delivers a record cut in electricity emissions

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 December 2020

Momentum builds for ambitious climate targets after Andrews govt delivers a record cut in electricity emissions

Victoria’s latest greenhouse gas performance data, released today, shows the Andrews government has delivered a record cut in emissions from the electricity sector.

Friends of the Earth say the nationally-significant achievement builds momentum for the state government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30. A decision on the targets is imminent after it was deferred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Andrews government’s renewable energy leadership has delivered a record cut in electricity sector emissions while creating thousands of jobs," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

"The accelerating pace of emissions cuts in Victoria shows that Premier Dan Andrews can afford to set bold and ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets."

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MEDIA RELEASE: Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 November 2020
 
Largest energy efficiency package in Victoria’s history a step up on Climate Justice

Victoria’s Andrews government has today announced the largest energy efficiency package in the state’s history, a $797 million plan that will deliver home energy upgrades to over 250,0000 households, offer immediate bill relief to people facing hardship during the pandemic, set new home energy standards while accelerating the rollout of rooftop solar around the state.

“This is an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency that will ease the cost of living for people on low-incomes, create thousands of jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cam Walker, campaigns coordinator at Friends of the Earth. 

“It’s a win-win for climate action that delivers for the people that need it most as we all grapple with the economic impacts of COVID-19,” added Walker. 

The landmark package demonstrates that the Andrews government takes action on climate change seriously and is investing in solutions that will deliver for the community and jobs. 

Together these announcements will make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating thousands of jobs, while improving living standards by delivering cheaper power bills.

The announcement comes a day after the state government announced $2.2 billion to begin stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop, and leading up to an important decision on Emissions Reduction Targets for the state. 

“The Andrews government announcement builds momentum towards the imminent decision on the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate justice spokesperson.

In a joint statement coordinated by the Climate Council in November, Friends of the Earth joined community service organisations, peak bodies and climate groups in calling on the Andrews government to urgently invest in energy efficiency measures. 

Today’s announcement is a win for everyone who has been advocating for energy efficiency for many years.

Friends of the Earth and community members will be calling on the Andrews government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets during a Day of Action on Sunday 29 November. 

Organisers believe this will be the last chance to influence the government on this important decision. 

For further comment please contact: 

Cam Walker, FoE Campaigns Coordinator: cam.walker@foe.org.au, 0419 338 047

Leigh Ewbank, FoE Act on Climate Coordinator: leigh.ewbank@foe.org.au, 0406 316 176
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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt funding for community energy is welcome, but must be scaled up to match demand

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.

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Andrews govt’s renewable energy push keeps Victoria on track to zero emissions

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 September 2020

Andrews govt’s renewable energy push keeps Victoria on track to zero emissions


Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s 'VRET 2' announcement of a ‘market sounding’ for 600MW of new renewable energy capacity.

The new capacity will repower government operationsincluding all the state’s schools and hospitals and Melbourne’s train networkwith solar and wind energy.

"Powering the state’s schools, hospitals, and metro trains with renewable energy helps keep Victoria on track to achieve zero emissions," said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

"The positive announcement shows that economic recovery programs can benefit the community and the climate. It shows that governments can create jobs while cutting emissions."

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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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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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