Climate change is already impacting Victoria with Premier Steve Bracks today extending the declared bushfire season.
Formal fire danger periods and fire restrictions will be introduced in about a fortnight – a month earlier than last year – in the wake of CSIRO predictions we will face a 25 per cent increase in extreme risk days by 2020.
Environment Victoria has welcomed the announcement which acknowledges the impact of climate change and the need for action.
Executive director Marcus Godinho said human-induced climate change was causing higher temperatures, drier forests and stronger winds which add to our risk of bushfires.
“We welcome Premier Bracks’ acknowledgement of climate change. Now the test of his leadership lies in his party’s policies to tackle our climate crisis.’’
Environment Victoria is calling on all political parties to adopt strong mandatory targets to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse pollution 20 per cent by 2020 and 60 per cent by 2050.
“To reduce our global warming pollution all parties must adopt strong energy saving measures. More greenhouse pollution comes from producing electricity than any other source in Victoria.’’
Mr Godinho said Victorian homes and businesses enjoyed the cheapest electricity prices of any OECD country.
“We need to start saving electricity in the same way we save water. If we continue to use high amounts of power and water, we are condemning our children and grand-children to the impacts of dangerous climate change.’’
CSIRO also predicts climate change will reduce water in Melbourne’s catchments up to 35 per cent by 2050.