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.