Media Releases | 10th Mar, 2021

Yallourn closure announcement highlights need to replace all coal by 2030

With the announcement from Energy Australia that Yallourn will close by 2028, governments around the country need to create transition plans to replace all coal power stations with renewable energy by 2030, Environment Victoria said today.

“This is an announcement from one energy company about a single power station. There are about 20 coal-burning power stations in Australia and they are the single biggest source of pollution that causes climate change and threatens public health,” said Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze.

“To avoid the worst impacts of damage to our climate, we need to close all coal-burning power stations by 2030 and replace them with clean energy sources like solar, wind and batteries. We can’t leave such an important task to the market to decide.”

“Just this week, the Secretary General of the United Nations called on developed countries to phase out coal power by 2030 – this is the task before us, and our state and federal governments need to rise to this challenge.”

“Are we going to have 20 separate closure announcements, each one dictated by an energy company based on the whims of the market, with months of speculation beforehand? Governments across Australia need to step in and create a timeline to phase out all coal power stations by 2030 in order to reduce pollution and address the climate crisis.”

“Today’s announcement makes clear that 2028 is the last possible date Yallourn can stay open. Given the rapid pace of transition in the energy market and the high maintenance costs for such an old power station, Yallourn may actually close earlier.”

“Real certainty for the Latrobe Valley community would also mean increased government funding for transition to new industries. The Andrews government needs to increase and extend funding to the Latrobe Valley Authority so people know it will actually be around to help when Yallourn closes.”

“The Victorian government needs to move faster on the energy transition if it wants to keep up with the global pace on climate action. Meanwhile Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor continues to ignore that Australia is moving beyond coal. Workers and communities need a comprehensive plan and tangible support that will ensure local families and businesses have a certain future with thriving local economies,” said Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze.

Media contacts

Greg Foyster, Environment Victoria Media and Content Manager, 0410879031