To protect our communities and avoid the worst impacts of damage to our climate, we need to close all coal-burning power stations in the next decade and replace them with clean energy sources like solar, wind and storage. But it’s not just when we retire coal stations that matters, it’s also how we do it.
We know from previous large economic transitions that just leaving it to the private market will leave communities in the lurch. The Latrobe Valley community needs support to seize the opportunities that come with a planned transition. With AEMO forecasting the phase out of Victorian coal by 2032, it’s time for power station owners and governments to be honest about closure dates and support communities to make the shift away from coal faster, fairer and more economically successful.
As coal-burning power stations are retired, it’s also critical that coal mines are properly rehabilitated. Mine operators must be held responsible for cleaning up their mess so that local communities are protected from the health impacts of contaminated water, air and land.