The Victorian Parliament has today received evidence it can go further and faster on renewable energy to create jobs and cut emissions, just days after a watershed election dominated by the issue of climate change.
Friends of the Earth says the combined evidence of Victoria’s Parliamentary Inquiry into 100% renewable energy and strong public support for action on climate shows the Andrews government can demonstrate greater ambition.
“With the federal election result proving that political parties who take climate change seriously will be rewarded at the ballot box, will Vic Premier Dan Andrews seize the opportunity?" asked Friends of the Earth renewable energy spokesperson Pat Simons.
“The Andrews government can draw on this well of support and build on Victoria’s history of leadership on wind and solar by going further and faster rolling out renewables, creating jobs and getting off gas” said Pat Simons.
With the Yallourn coal fired power station set to close by 2028 at the earliest, the inquiry highlighted the need for governments to deliver a transition plan that creates new economic opportunities for communities like the Latrobe Valley in industries like renewable energy.
“After announcing the most ambitious offshore wind policy in the country, Victoria can go further on renewable energy and deliver new jobs and investment for communities like the Latrobe Valley and the wider Gippsland region" said Simons.
The parliamentary inquiry also recommended the government rollout solutions to electrify homes, businesses and industry to get off gas, which will be an essential part of decarbonising the economy.
The recommendation to get off gas is at odds with the state government’s approval for offshore gas projects in Victoria’s South-west coast, which have attracted community opposition.
“We can’t afford to open up another single new gas project if we want to meet state emissions targets and avoid catastrophic climate change and yet we have state government approval for Beach Energy to drill under the Port Campbell National Park, hard up against the Twelve Apostles plus a possible gas terminal at Corio Bay,” said Freja Leonard, Friends of the Earth’s No New Gas Campaigner.
“This report clearly shows that we don’t need more gas. What we need is a plan to rapidly and equitably remove gas from Victoria’s energy mix entirely” said Leonard.
Friends of the Earth looks forward to the Andrews government's response to the final report tabled in Parliament today, and will be following closely.
Pat Simons | Yes2Renewables Coordinator | [email protected] | 0415 789 961
Freja Leonard | No New Gas Campaigner | [email protected] | 0400 611 896