Media Releases | 23rd Jul, 2012

Report confirms climate change already biting in Victoria - Will Baillieu Government heed climate wake up call or hit the snooze button?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Environment Victoria said a new report released today showing that climate change was already hurting Victorians should be a wake-up call for the Baillieu Government.

The report, “The Critical Decade: Victorian climate impacts and opportunities” was released by the Climate Commission, a committee of experts established by the Federal Government. The report warns that Victoria is already experiencing more days of extreme heat, declining rainfall, more extreme fire danger days and sea level rise tracking at the highest forecasts.

 Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said today:

“While the Baillieu Government seems to want to pretend that climate change isn’t happening, this report finds that climate change is already reducing the safety and quality of life of Victorians presenting a clear and present danger that government should be acting on.”

“Yet so far nearly every decision the Baillieu Government has made on climate policy has maintained business as usual for polluters or delayed investment in renewable energy.”

“In just 18 months the Baillieu Government has abandoned state efforts to reduce greenhouse pollution and removed protections for Victorians from the worst impacts of climate change, such as planning restrictions in areas likely to be inundated with sea level rise or providing enough water to river systems like the Murray.”

Ms O’Shanassy said that the Climate Commission report also showed that Victoria was missing out on creating new clean energy jobs and industries with the Baillieu Government’s failure to support renewable energy industries.

“The report finds that Victoria has some of the best renewable energy resources and opportunities in the world. The Baillieu Government has so far turned its back on these opportunities across regional Victoria, instead preferring to pursue phantom dirty brown coal export jobs and its short-sighted plans to turn the Latrobe Valley into the Pilbara.

Ms O’Shanassy concluded:

“Any sober assessment of the impacts climate change will have on Victoria should spur our State Government into action. However to date the Baillieu Government has been attacking climate change programs instead of acting to reduce pollution and safeguard Victorians. This is a foolhardy and negligent approach. If the Baillieu Government is going to continue to ignore the advice of scientists like the Climate Commission on climate change the question is who are they getting their policy advice from?”



Kelly O’Shanassy 0421 054 402