In response to the Andrews government’s indefinite delay on critical climate change targets, Dr Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager of Environment Victoria, said:
“This is now the second time the Victorian government has delayed setting these crucial climate targets, so it’s doubly disappointing. A comprehensive climate change package coinciding with the state budget is essential for the government to retain its climate credentials and steer Victoria’s economic recovery in a sustainable direction.
“We agree the government’s focus must be on protecting public health right now, but that does not diminish the urgency of the climate crisis. By indefinitely delaying its climate policy, the Andrews government is failing to protect all Victorians from climate impacts and missing opportunities to give certainty to critical industries like renewable energy.
“We kicked off 2020 wearing face masks to block out smoke from the worst bushfires on record. Experts say there is much worse in store if we don’t take urgent action to drastically reduce global emissions.
“In its Climate Change Act, the Andrews government has a solid framework with rolling deadlines to ensure emissions reduction goals are informed by expert advice and stay on track. But it only works if the government meets its own deadlines.
“Every day of delay simply adds to the cost of making the inevitable transition to a zero-carbon economy. Every day of delay is another day Victoria has no plan for bringing climate pollution down at the rate we need to keep Victorians safe from bushfires, heatwaves and more and more record-breaking extreme events into the future.
“Getting this right means setting 2030 targets in line with our share of keeping global warming to below 1.5 degrees – at least 65 – 80% emissions reductions across Victoria’s electricity generation, transport, agriculture, waste and land-use sectors.
“Governments around the world, with the backing of businesses, clean energy investors, unions and economists, are signalling that their economic recoveries will centre on solutions that also address climate change. The Andrews government must focus on how to create a sustainable, zero-emissions economy.
“Renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transport and other sustainable solutions are all proven job creators that are also essential steps in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These need to form the core of Victoria’s economic recovery. The sooner this happens, the better for our economy and the better for our climate.”
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaign Manager
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