News | 26th Jul, 2010

Environment Victoria welcomes green plan

Monday, 26 July 2010
9 News

Environment Victoria has praised the state government for committing to a 20 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

The Age newspaper says Premier John Brumby will release a climate change white paper on Monday that sets a 20 per cent cut in Victoria's 2000-level emissions in the next decade.

The change would require a major shift in how Victoria generates electricity.

Environment Victoria chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said Victoria's new target is "head and shoulders above any other state or national emissions reduction target in Australia".

"It sets a new standard for climate action in Australia, and is in stark contrast to the weak targets and lack of policy from both the federal ALP and Coalition," Ms O'Shanassy said in a statement.

"While the science tells us we'll need to go further than a 20 per cent reduction in emissions, the premier is building a bridge between what we are currently doing about climate change in Australia and what we need to be doing."

Ms O'Shanassy said to meet the 20 per cent emission reduction target by 2020, the state would need to reduce its emissions by 30 million tonnes over the next decade.

This could be achieved by replacing power stations such as Hazelwood with clean energy, she said.

Ninety per cent of Victoria's power comes from its brown coal-fired power stations in the Latrobe Valley.

The white paper would be a road map to how the cuts would be achieved, Mr Brumby told The Age.

"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.

It will include the recent pledge to source five per cent of Victoria's electricity from solar power by 2020, the newspaper said.

The Herald Sun newspaper said one of the initiatives in the white paper would be a voluntary extra $80 fee on vehicle registrations to fund tree planting and other emissions reduction ideas.