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Pages tagged "Media Release"

State budget continues clean energy transition, but risks forest conflict

Screen_Shot_2024-05-07_at_3.51.07_pm.pngFriends of the Earth (FoE) - response to Victorian state budget 2024/25

As expected, this was a state budget focused strongly on cost of living pressures, with emphasis on assisting families, and continued investment in public infrastructure including training, education and health.

As such, expectations in the realm of environment and energy had been very modest, and as expected there were no major new projects announced in this budget. The energy measures outlined in the budget are generally a ‘business as usual’ continuation of existing positive policy and previous commitments. We welcome the commitment to review the Victorian Energy Upgrades program and support VicGrid’s transmission planning reforms. Progress on the development of onshore and offshore renewable energy will continue, with funding to assist in mitigating the biodiversity impacts of these projects.

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Offshore wind gathers momentum as feasibility licences awarded in Gippsland

Screen_Shot_2024-05-01_at_1.21.23_pm.pngMEDIA RELEASE 1 May 2024

Today Federal Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen has announced a major step forward for offshore wind in Australia, granting feasibility licences for six projects in Victoria’s Gippsland region.

This includes a feasibility licence for Star of the South, a visionary offshore wind project that has been proposed for several years, capturing the imagination of people in Gippsland as the region’s coal fired power stations begin to close.

Environmental justice group Friends of the Earth welcomes the announcement, saying offshore wind will make a major contribution to action on climate change while creating thousands of jobs.

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$1 billion in renewable energy projects as AGL confirms a closure date by 2035.

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Media release. August 21, 2023

Today, the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D'Ambrosio, announced that the government is investing $1 billion in renewable energy projects to deliver 4.5 gigawatts of power, equivalent to the output of the Loy Yang A power station. Friends of the Earth has welcomed this announcement and appreciates the role that the State Electricity Commission (SEC) will play in transforming the energy sector.

The minister, alongside AGL power company, also confirmed the 2035 closure date for the power station and a structured transition plan for affected workers. This will help ensure certainty for the Gippsland community.  However, the plan allows for an earlier closure if Loy Yang A is no longer needed in the energy market. 

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MEDIA RELEASE: Victoria's new Emissions Reduction Target of 75-80% by 2035 set to become law

May 16, 2023

 

Friends of the Earth welcomes today’s news that the Andrews government has locked in its new Emissions Reduction Target of 75-80% by 2035, now set to become law.

The Andrews government committed to the target ahead of the 2022 state election, along with pledges to re-establish the State Electricity Commission and set a target of 95% renewable energy generation by 2035. 

‘Victoria’s strong new 2035 Emissions Reduction Target reflects how much the pace of climate action has accelerated in recent years, and will energise communities to keep advocating for more ambition,’ said Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Anna Langford.

‘This big step up on climate ambition is a jump of 30% from our 2030 Emissions Reduction Target of 45-50%, and indicates what is possible with smart, forward-thinking policies.’

The target has been tabled in parliament today, and is now officially part of Victoria’s Climate Change Act (2017), which charts Victoria’s course to the goal of net-zero emissions by 2045. 

Friends of the Earth says the 2035 target being tied to the re-establishment of the State Electricity Commission is hugely significant for Victoria’s Latrobe Valley community.

‘The privatisation of Victoria’s electricity system in the 1990s wreaked havoc in the Latrobe Valley, and the community has faced uncertainty about the future ever since,’ said Friends of the Earth's Gippsland Organiser, Wendy Farmer. 

‘It’s exciting to see the Victorian government setting ambitious targets backed by investment in public electricity generation, which will create thousands of good local jobs,’ said Ms Farmer.

 

Friends of the Earth says the next steps for Victoria are to accelerate the phaseout of the state’s reliance on polluting fossil gas, immediately transition out of native forest logging (which contributed over 3 million tonnes of carbon pollution in 2021), and plan for the emerging needs of communities which are on the front lines of the first climate impacts.

‘Collective action by communities around Victoria has secured strong policy that is delivering significant emissions cuts. The Victorian government should continue to engage with communities in forming future policies to deepen emissions cuts and adapt to locked-in impacts,’ said Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson Aleesha Hanczakowski. 


Delburn Wind Farm gets the validation it deserves

MEDIA RELEASE 27/03/2023

Friends of the Earth welcomes the Supreme Court's decision that the Delburn wind farm is valid and can go ahead. The Delburn project will be the first wind farm in the Latrobe Valley, it will also be the first wind farm built in a plantation in Australia.

Building a wind farm in a plantation site is an effective way to protect the natural environment as the plantation is already a highly modified industrial site. Hopefully the court's decision today puts the false claims about this project to rest. 

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The Alliance For Responsible Mining Regulation launches a 10 point reform plan

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As Victoria continues to experience a boom in minerals exploration and development, it is essential that we learn from past impacts. While mining helped build the state’s economy in the 19th century, the current boom threatens regional communities and farmland, and will use increasingly scarce surface and groundwater. All proposals must be carefully scrutinised and managed to avoid reckless and short-sighted approvals so that this and future generations of Victorians are not exposed to even more social, economic, and environmental harm.

In 2021, a range of local groups concerned about the impacts of mining started to meet to share skills, strategy and knowledge. Over time, this informal network developed into the Alliance For Responsible Mining Regulation (ARMR). ARMR calls for an overhaul of mining regulations that must result in better outcomes for the community and environment.

Now, with a state election in less than 4 weeks, ARMR has launched a blueprint for reform of the laws around mining in Victoria.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Andrews govt’s epic commitment to 95% renewables puts climate action in public hands

Victoria’s Andrews government has today announced a visionary plan to reach 95% Renewables by 2035, end the state’s reliance on coal generation, and establish a publicly owned corporation that will see the public hold a controlling stake in new renewable energy projects.

“This is a breakthrough moment for Victoria’s plans to transform the energy system to act on the climate crisis, that will accelerate the rollout of renewables and put it in public hands,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Victoria to power every government school, hospital and public transport with six new solar farms

MEDIA RELEASE: 7 October 2022

Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s announcement it will power all public sector infrastructure with renewable energy after announcing contracts for six new solar farms and four grid-scale batteries.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Victorian Energy Storage Target will supercharge renewables transition and create local jobs

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 September 2022

Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s announcement to legislate a Victorian Energy Storage Target if returned to power at the November state election.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Victoria positioned to scale up climate ambition for 2035 after delivering record emissions cuts

MEDIA RELEASE: 20 September 2022

Victoria positioned to scale up climate ambition for 2035 after delivering record emissions cuts

Victoria’s latest greenhouse gas performance data, released today, shows that the Andrews government has overachieved its Emissions Reduction Target of 20% by 2020 by 10 percent.

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