The Victorian Liberals’ war on renewable energy and support for coal and gas cost them the election, Environment Victoria said today.
“Matthew Guy’s Liberal Party went to the polls with no plan for climate action and a plan to destroy the state’s renewable energy industry. It has cost them the election,” said CEO of Environment Victoria Mark Wakeham.
“The Liberal Party needs to learn that their war on renewable energy is deeply unpopular in the suburbs and towns that decide elections.
“Tonight’s result makes clear that ignoring climate change and undermining renewable energy is electoral poison.
“Of all the issues in the campaign, climate and energy policy provided the greatest difference between the two major parties. For many voters this election was a referendum on renewable energy.
“Environment Victoria has been campaigning deeply in the sandbelt electorates since 2012. As we’ve discovered from talking with thousands of swinging voters in the area, many people who consider themselves Liberal voters are passionate about reducing climate pollution and supporting renewable energy.
“The Liberal Party offered them nothing, instead clinging to outdated plans to build a new coal or gas-burning power station and keeping Yallourn open.
“As happened in Wentworth, and now Victoria, conservative voters abandon political leaders who have no plan to address climate change.
“Climate change and renewable energy are not left/right issues, there is support right across the political spectrum for a plan to transition from coal to clean energy.
“The community support for clean energy in this campaign was overwhelming.
“Labor and the Greens saw that and put renewable energy front and centre of their campaign. Solar Homes and a strong state renewable energy target were extremely popular policies and helped Labor win marginal seats that determined the outcome of the election.
“We congratulate the Andrews Government on their win. While we’re really encouraged that they embraced renewable energy in the campaign, they need much clearer plans to reduce emissions across the economy and to get serious about nature protection in their second term.
“Victorians are just as passionate about protecting our natural environment as we are about renewable energy, so it’s time Labor stood up for nature and protected our forests and rivers,” said Mr Wakeham.
Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
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