With the Andrews government due to decide early next year on emissions targets for 2025 and 2030, two climate reports tabled in Victorian parliament today revealed the state is tracking towards the worst end of climate projections, with no prospect of reducing emissions without urgent government action.
Victoria’s Climate Science Report 2019 examined recent temperature and rainfall observations, showed the state is on track for a worst-case climate scenario.
“Projections of exactly what Victoria’s future climate will look like tend to range from bad to extremely bad. It is very worrying that recent observations show we are actually on the extremely bad path,” said Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.
“This does not bode well for how much hotter and drier Victoria could become over the next decade. If we’re at the worse end of projections now, there’s every chance that trend will continue. That will have a devastating impact on Victorians, our economy and our society.
“Even as we get less overall rainfall, extreme downpours are getting worse. These storms knock out transport infrastructure, damage homes, wreck crops – and these storms are projected to get more intense.”
The report also notes that anyone under the age of 23 who has always lived in Victoria has never experienced a year of below-average temperatures.
The Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2019 found that the slight decrease in Victoria’s emissions from 2016 to 2017 was almost entirely due to the closure of the Hazelwood power station.
“Once again, we see that the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria are the coal-burning power stations, accounting for 50 million tonnes of CO2 and almost half the state’s emissions,” said Dr Aberle.
“The report clearly shows that the main reason Victoria’s emissions fell from 2016 to 2017 was because Hazelwood closed.
“The report shows that 90% of Victoria’s emissions are associated with some kind of energy: whether it is burning coal for electricity, burning gas for heat or burning petrol and diesel for transport.
“Shifting from coal to renewable energy not only helps eliminate the electricity emissions, but gives us the opportunity to cut emissions from our other energy needs.”
Figure A: changes in Victoria’s emissions from 2016 to 2017
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
Office: (03) 9341 8112 Mobile: 0402 512 121