The Victorian EPA’s review of licences for coal-burning power stations, reported on the front page of today’s Age, is the moment for the environmental watchdog to get serious about excessive levels of both toxic air pollution and climate pollution from Victoria’s coal generators.
Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:
“The toxic air pollution limits on Victoria’s coal power stations desperately need to be tightened, but what is remarkable is that they are the the power stations are biggest sources of climate pollution in Victoria and yet face no CO2 limits whatsoever.
“The EPA is required by law to ‘have regard to climate change’ in amending these licences. It’s hard to see how they can have regard to climate change and not put CO2 limits in the licences.
“The EPA says these licence reviews are to ensure licences are up to date with community expectations. Most Victorians would be shocked to learn the EPA is currently doing nothing to cap climate pollution from coal-burning power stations.
“An independent review on how to modernise the EPA recently concluded that the regulator needs to start taking an active role in dealing with global warming. Including greenhouse gas limits on the licences of Victoria’s biggest polluters is a critical step for the EPA to stay relevant in the biggest environmental challenge of the 21st Century.
“Hard limits on how much CO2 these coal power stations produce would give some certainty that Victoria can meet its 2020 emissions reduction target of 15-20 percent, as well as targets for 2025 and 2030, due to be announced later this year.”
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
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