Media Releases | 20th Apr, 2018

COAG RALLY: Over 100 Victorians join Environment Victoria and Friends of the Earth in rally for renewables

Environment Victoria will join Friends of the Earth and over 100 passionate clean energy supporters in a rally outside the COAG meeting in Melbourne today.

As State Energy Ministers enter the meeting to discuss the Federal Government’s National Energy Guarantee, the group will send a strong message that Victorians will only accept an energy policy ensuring increased investment in clean energy and that ensures Australia meets the Paris Agreement and limits global warming to less than 2 degrees.

“Daniel Andrews cannot accept the National Energy Guarantee with its inadequate pollution reduction targets. This policy will not deliver the clean, cheap power and secure and safe energy future Victorians want,” said Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham.

“On behalf of all Victorians, we urge the Premier to stand up for renewables in our State to secure Victoria’s clean energy future.

“Australia needs to significantly increase investment in clean energy and cut climate pollution in line with the Paris Agreement and Victoria should not sign up to a plan that falls short.

“Victoria has all the right ingredients to secure our international reputation in clean energy and high-tech renewable industries. Our Premier must not sign this away by supporting the National Energy Guarantee.

“Daniel Andrews needs to encourage jobs and investment in clean energy. We’ve got 9000 renewables jobs in the pipeline. Signing off on the NEG would jeopardise Victorian jobs and slow down clean energy,” said Mr Wakeham.

Environment Victoria has identified 3 key issues to look out for regarding the COAG Energy Council meeting:

1. Will Federal and State ministers agree to progress a National Energy Guarantee that boosts clean energy investment across Australia?

  • There are enough renewable energy projects already under construction or in the pipeline to exceed the targets under the NEG.
  • Unless targets are increased, the NEG will do little to drive investment in additional clean energy.
  • Cleaning up the electricity sector is also very important to also deliver clean electric transport, industry and buildings.

2. Will ministers agree to ensure emissions targets can be ratcheted up as needed to limit global warming?

  • Australia has joined the rest of the world (except Donald Trump) in agreeing to limit global warming to 1.5-2 degrees this century. This will require Australia to lift its currently woeful target to levels the climate science demands.
  • Based on the targets put forward by the Turnbull government, this would make it next to impossible for Australia to play its role in achieving the goals of the Paris agreement. Low ambition in the electricity sector also puts more burden on other sectors to clean up the economy.
  • Will the Federal Coalition maintain bipartisan support for a NEG that becomes more ambitious than what is currently being discussed? Or will they just re-start the climate wars to score political points?

3. Does the policy set a floor not a ceiling on ambition? If states aim higher than Federal targets are they penalised?

  • Victoria has been seeking to make itself a climate leader by setting a 40% renewable energy target by 2025 and net zero pollution by 2050.
  • The benefits of this position are starting to flow. Billions of dollars of investment, more jobs and less pollution. This needs to be allowed to continue without Federal interference.

For interview and further comment:

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501

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