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MEDIA RELEASE: Vic makes big renewables boost, Morrison missing in action on climate

The Victorian government has today announced it will power the entire Victorian government with renewable energy, including every public school and hospital and Melbourne’s entire metropolitan train network.

Community-driven environment group Friends of the Earth says the announcement is good news for climate and jobs, and will help firm up the grid by adding new renewable energy supply to the mix.

The announcement comes alongside the release of national emissions data that finds Australia's emissions are dropping, but only as a result of state & territory initiatives and the impact of the pandemic.

Today’s announcement marks the start of the second auction under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target, and is expected to:

  • Create as many as 2,000 new jobs in renewable energy
  • Deliver $1 billion worth of investment to Victoria
  • Make a significant contribution to halving the state’s carbon emissions by 2030, and the state’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030

While states like Victoria are doing the heavy lift on climate and renewable energy, the Morrison government is still missing in action, with no real plan to rein in the climate crisis or rollout renewable energy.

"The second Victorian Renewable Energy Target auction will help the state government meet its commitment to halve emissions by 2030," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's climate spokesperson. 

"State and territory initiatives such as the VRET set an example for the Federal government to follow."

Community members are now looking to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to increase Australia's 2030 target in time for the COP26 summit.”

"A commitment to match the 2030 targets set by President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be a welcome step towards aligning national climate policy with the latest science” said Ewbank.

The announcement of the second stage of Victoria’s renewable energy auctions represents a significant opportunity in Gippsland, currently home to the state’s ageing coal generators:

“As we continue to see the decline of coal power stations in Gippsland, it’s good to see the Victorian government stepping up with new renewable energy supply while the federal Morrison government is missing in action” said Wendy Farmer, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy campaigner in Gippsland.

With a number of new wind and solar projects proposed for Gippsland, renewable energy is a huge opportunity for jobs and investment, and we hope to see good outcomes for the region” added Wendy. 

Friends of the Earth will continue to follow progress on Victoria’s renewable energy auctions with interest.

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