Media Releases | 23rd Jan, 2020

Victorian Liberals’ climate advocacy welcomed as states step up to lead

Environment Victoria has welcomed Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’Brien’s support for stronger state and federal climate policy as another sign that states will step up to fill the void while the federal government remains uninterested in tackling emissions.

Mr O’Brien’s commitment to state action in the absence of national leadership is an important step towards bipartisan climate policy in Victoria, says Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria.

“Taking the Federal Government to task is no easy thing and I commend Mr O’Brien’s leadership,” says Mr La Nauze. “As people are waking up to the devastating reality of climate change, the climate deniers in Canberra look ever more out of touch.

“I couldn’t agree more that Victoria can, and should, lead the nation in emissions reduction. States are equipped with great authority to act on climate change through management of our energy systems, planning schemes and public land. Victoria is poised to lead the way.

“While Mr O’Brien’s comments signal a welcome shift, the Liberals’ call to replace coal-fired power with gas, another fossil fuel, is tone-deaf and leaves Victorians vulnerable to skyrocketing gas prices.

“Building cheap, reliable renewable capacity is the only way forward to secure Victoria’s energy supply and economic prosperity.”

While Mr O’Brien called for sensible emissions reduction targets, the Victorian Liberals have not yet endorsed a figure.

“Sensible climate policy is one which keeps Victoria safe, and that means doing our bit to limit warming to 1.5 degrees,” says Mr La Nauze. “Any reasonable target must serve that goal.

“We’ve already seen the dangers 1.1 degree of warming has exposed us to. More than that will impact Victoria’s food production, public health and economy.

“The unprecedented drought and bushfires we have experienced in the last year have shown that no corner of Australia is untouched by our changing climate. Every level of government must have a plan to mitigate climate risk.”

Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO
Office: (03) 9341 8100 Mobile: 0402 904 251

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