The ‘regional jury’ considered the energy transition it’s highest priority with strong support and advocated for a government led regulatory framework to support this combined with a firm end date for the cessation of burning brown coal. The jury cited addressing greenhouse gas emissions and clear timelines for industry and air quality improvement as some of the reasons for supporting the policy.
The recommendations of the jury echo the results of recent polling commissioned by Environment Victoria, which found that 70 percent of voters support the phase out of coal power stations as part of a plan to deal with global warming.
The Victorian government has already demonstrated climate leadership by committing to zero emissions by 2050 and setting an ambitious renewable energy target. However with 50 percent of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from the four power stations in the Latrobe Valley, targets alone will not be enough.
As highlighted by the citizen jury we need government to facilitate the clean energy transition by setting clear deadlines for the phase out of Victoria’s coal power stations. Developing a timeline for the phase out of brown coal in Victoria’s energy generation mix will provide certainty to the renewable energy market and to the local community in their economic transition.
Victorians are concerned about global warming and they know that transitioning the energy market is a viable solution. It’s time to turn public support into action and phase our coal power for good.