Environment groups today welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to legislate for at least 10 per cent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2016.
This will ensure at least a three-fold increase in the amount of renewable energy produced in Victoria.
“Global warming is the most pressing environmental issue of our time. In the lead-up to the state election, the environmental credibility of political parties’ will be judged on their plans to tackle global warming, said Marcus Godinho, Environment Victoria’s Executive Director.
“It’s been a long time coming, but finally a government in this country has dropped the waffle and empty promises about global warming and taken concrete steps in the right direction. If the Bracks Government quickly builds on this announcement, Victoria can become a centre for the renewable energy sector in Australia – bringing regional jobs and investment.”
Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Mark Wakeham said:
“This decision will help Victoria break its addiction to polluting brown coal and start moving towards a cleaner energy future. Victoria’s renewable energy industry will now grow faster than any other Australian states over the next ten years, unless other states follow the Victorian Government’s lead.
“The fact that the Bracks Government has delayed achieving the 10% target until 2016 – originally the 10% target was to have been met by 2010 – strengthens the need for a 20 per cent greenhouse pollution reduction target for Victoria by 2020, as well as innovative energy-efficiency programs, which we urge all parties to adopt in their pre-election policy announcements.”
“No doubt some sectors of the fossil fuel industry will complain about the legislation and predict dire consequences (as they have been doing over recent months). However national and international experience has demonstrated that once governments mandate targets, industry adapts and often benefits and the predicted economic meltdown doesn’t occur – instead, a vibrant clean-energy economy develops.”
Mr Godinho concluded:
“Global warming will bring more bushfires and worse droughts. We need more action like this in Victoria and we call on other states to follow suit.
“Environment groups now call on all political parties to set targets for reducing Victoria’s total greenhouse pollution in line with advice from leading scientists. It’s one thing to increase renewable energy but we must also make deep cuts to our overall greenhouse pollution levels.”
“Victoria’s electricity is dirt cheap – we have some of the cheapest power in the world. If we don’t start moving away from brown coal for producing electricity climate change is going to cost us a lot more in drought relief, flood damage and higher insurance premiums.”
See Victorians call for climate change action, Friday 14 July 2006