Environment Victoria has todaycalled on the Baillieu Government to deliver on its pre-election commitment to cut Victoria’s greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020.
The call comes as a review of the Climate Change Act, including the pollution reduction target, is expected to be tabled in Parliament this week or the first sitting week in March.
Environment Victoria analysis of the 367 submissions made to the Climate Change Act review found overwhelming support for retaining the state target. 358 submissions supported keeping the target, while just 9 submissions from some of the state’s most polluting companies opposed the target.
Ahead of the 2010 state election then Shadow Environment and Climate Change Minister Mary Wooldridge clearly promised to retain and achieve the target writing:
“We will develop a comprehensive strategy and investment package for engaging Victorians in sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation programs as a part of meeting our accepted emission reduction target of 20 percent on 2000 levels by 2020.”
Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today:
“Since their election the Baillieu Government has fudged the question of how they are going to achieve their greenhouse target. At the same time they have systematically cut support for renewable energy and dismantled the state’s climate policies. Just yesterday we had a disappointing decision by the Baillieu Government to cut Sustainability Victoria’s climate change and renewable energy programs.
“Reviewing the Climate Change Act provides the Premier with an opportunity to reiterate the Coalition’s pledge to cut greenhouse pollution and outline how they plan to achieve their 20 percent target.”
Mr Wakeham said that environment groups, local councils, clean energy businesses and church groups were amongst the 358 submissions that supported retaining the 20 per cent target.
“Just nine submissions opposed the target, including companies like Alcoa and Loy Yang who are among the state’s biggest polluters, and industry groups like the Minerals Council and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network who represent polluting interests.”
“By retaining the target and developing a plan to achieve it, Victoria will attract billions of dollars of investment in clean energy and thousands of new jobs. It’s a smart thing to do, environmentally and economically.
“The Climate Change Act review requires Premier Baillieu to make a choice. Is he going to stand up for the public interest and support clean energy jobs and investment, or is he going to side with the state’s largest polluters?”
“While the State Government might like to handball responsibility to the federal government for taking action on climate change, the fact is, it’s state governments who approve new power stations, make planning decisions and fund public transport and freeways. There’s a clear need for a state target and action to reduce pollution.”
“We’ve had enough equivocation from the Baillieu Government- it’s time for them to get on with cleaning up Victoria’s economy and reducing the state’s pollution.
 Correspondence from Mary Wooldridge, November 2010,
Mark Wakeham 0439 700 501