Media Releases | 27th Apr, 2016

Environment Victoria welcomes ALP plan to cut pollution and clean up Australia’s energy supply

Australia’s alternative government has today released a comprehensive outline for tackling global warming and cleaning up our polluting electricity system, Environment Victoria said today.

The ALP’s Climate Change Action Plan outlines a suite of mechanisms including phasing out Australia’s polluting coal-burning power stations, increasing energy efficiency, boosting renewable energy, reducing land clearing and supporting transition planning for communities who will be affected by the retirement of power stations.

Environment Victoria’s Safe Climate Campaign Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle said today:

“The ALP’s plan is a solid foundation for a new era of climate and energy policy in Australia. The breadth of the plan recognises that no one single policy measure will be sufficient to cut Australia’s pollution to the extent that we need.

“The comprehensive range of measures proposed by the ALP’s new Climate Change Action Plan highlights just how threadbare the Coalition’s policy is. It’s a stark contrast.”

“It is simply not good enough for the Coalition to say they’ll review their policy after the election. Malcolm Turnbull and his party must now deliver a credible climate policy ahead of the election – the majority of Australians who want urgent action on climate change should be very concerned if this does not happen.

“We know that burning coal in power stations is the single biggest cause of global warming in Australia. The ALP’s proposal should result in the planned phase-out of our oldest and dirtiest power stations in the next few years, like Victoria’s Hazelwood and Yallourn power stations, which are among the most carbon-intensive in the developed world. The ongoing operation of these ageing generators is blocking new investment in renewable energy.

“The countries that we most often liken ourselves to – Canada, the US, the UK – are already phasing out coal-burning power stations to cut their emissions. The world recognises that this is an essential and urgent step to deal with global warming.

“The ALP has also recognised the need to prepare for and manage the community transitions that will occur as power stations are retired. It is essential that local communities like the Latrobe Valley have a central voice in this process.

“On energy efficiency, we’d like to see more detail on how a Shorten Government will ensure we are building for the future and work with state governments to raise the performance of the buildings we already have. Efficiency retrofits for low-income households within the Community Power Network are welcome, but given the experience and expertise already in place around Australia, this must move from pilot to wide-scale implementation as soon as possible.”

The ALP has committed to emissions reduction targets of 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

“The ALP’s plan is a welcome start, but we will encourage a Shorten Government to increase the ambition of its emissions reduction targets. Without greater cuts, we have a one in three chance of passing the disastrous two degrees threshold. You wouldn’t drive over a bridge if there was a 30 percent chance of it collapsing. We shouldn’t take those same odds with the future of civilisation,” said Dr Aberle.

For interview and further comment:

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Safe Climate Campaign Manager,
Direct: (03) 9341 8112 Mobile: 0402 512 121