News | 26th Jul, 2010

Brumby lays down gauntlet on carbon

Monday, 26 July 2010
The Age, Adam Morton

The Victorian government will present itself as the national leader in tackling climate change by pledging to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions by at least a fifth over the next decade.

Launching a climate change white paper, Premier John Brumby will today promise legislation that would set a minimum target of a 20 per cent cut in emissions below 2000 levels by 2020.

The commitment will be painted as a sharp contrast to the federal climate debate, where the major parties face heavy criticism for delaying measures that could reach the bipartisan target of a 5 per cent cut in emissions.

Mr Brumby said the state target would require a transformation in the way it generated and used electricity, more than 90 per cent of which comes from high-emissions brown coal.

He said the "landmark" white paper would outline policies to put Victoria on a path to meeting the benchmark.

"Our commitment is that by 2014 Victoria will have made significant progress on reductions, and will be in a position to make even greater changes to achieve the 20 per cent goal by 2020," Mr Brumby said.

The white paper will include recent commitments to kickstart a large-scale solar power industry to generate 5 per cent of the state's electricity from the sun by 2020, and double an existing energy efficiency target.

Environment Victoria said the 20 per cent target showed strong leadership.

"It is head and shoulders above any other state or federal government," Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said.

"While the science tells us we'll need to go further, the Premier is building a bridge between what we are doing on climate change in Australia and what we need to be doing."

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