Leading environment group Environment Victoria has slammed Ted Baillieu for backing away from his party’s commitment to cut Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020 from 2000 levels.
In an interview with The Age newspaper, Mr Baillieu refused to commit to the target, saying instead that “we didn’t oppose the legislation”. He also expressed doubt about whether the target is achievable saying “we’d like to think it was achievable. I’m not sure it will be achieved.”
Last night Coalition Shadow Environment and Climate Change Minister Mary Wooldridge contradicted her leader telling an audience of 130 people at an Environment Q&A event that the Coalition backed the 20 percent target. This is further supported by Ms Wooldridge’s statement in Parliament last August that “we support the setting of a target to serve as a clear signal and commitment of intent to achieve a genuine reduction in carbon emissions.”
Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today;
“The Coalition appears to be in total disarray on climate change. Its unclear whether they support Victoria’s emissions reduction target and they appear to lack the conviction to tackle one of the major issues facing the state.
“With just eight days to the election, the Coalition has no clear policy that will deliver measurable emissions reductions. In fact the only substantial climate change policy released by the Coalition is their plan to make it more difficult to build renewable energy projects in Victoria.
“This lack of policy effectively guarantees that the 2020 target will not be met if the Coalition is elected.
“The Coalition has had 11 years in Opposition to come up with a credible climate change policy. Unless something dramatic changes in the next eight days, it appears that Victoria will be consigned to a hotter, drier and poorer future if a coalition government is elected.
“Political parties that don’t demonstrate leadership on reducing greenhouse pollution do not deserve to lead the state, particularly given that the next four years is a critical window for action on climate change.
“Ted Baillieu’s opportunity to tell Victorians how he will address climate change is rapidly closing. We urge the Coalition to release a clear and credible policy on climate change in the remaining days of the campaign”.
For interviews contact: Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO Environment Victoria 0421 054 402
 Hansard, Climate Change Bill Second reading, Legislative Assembly, August 12, 2010