Victorians can celebrate real action on climate change after a 20 per cent reduction in Victoria’s emissions by 2020 was enshrined in law during the last parliamentary sitting week in the new Climate Change Act.
Delivering on a key commitment in Taking Action for Victoria’s Future – The Victorian Climate Change White Paper Action Plan, Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP said the Government was determined to ensure Victoria keeps leading the nation on climate change.
“We know we need to reduce our emissions, build resilient and sustainable communities, create jobs and put Victoria ahead of the curve as we move toward a low carbon economy,” Ms Tierney said.
“This Act will provide the foundation for all of these important actions.”
The Climate Change Act 2010:
• Establishes the Government’s 20 per cent reduction target in law;
• Gives the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and ensures no new power stations using conventional brown coal technology are built in Victoria;
• A legal framework to encourage the reforestation of private and public land to create carbon sinks that can be a new source of income for landowners;
• Creates voluntary Climate Covenants for Government, community, industry and regional bodies to help them take the lead on climate change action;
• Embeds climate change impacts into a range of Government decisions;
• Enables the Climate Communities Program to further promote local action to tackle climate change; and,
• Requires a Climate Change Adaptation Plan to be developed every four years to prepare for the climate change impacts that cannot be avoided.
“The community can be assured of Victoria’s progress toward our target by the requirement in the Act for Victoria’s emissions and climate science to be reported on every two years,” Ms Tierney said.
“Despite the disappointing defeat of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by the Greens and climate skeptics in the Liberal and National Parties in the Australian Senate the Brumby Labor Government still strongly supports a national price on carbon.
“However, we can no longer wait for this to occur. Victoria must take the lead by doing its part now to contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions.
“While the Victorian parliament made history by supporting this Bill, it was unfortunate that opposition leader Ted Baillieu couldn’t be bothered participating in the debate.
“Several Opposition MPs also again used the parliament as a forum for both ridiculing the science of climate change and the motives of those who have taken action in their own lives to lower their carbon footprint.”
“The Liberal Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe even claimed: ‘Climate change has become the new religion’ and the Liberal Member for Western Metropolitan Bernie Finn said ‘…the hysteria surrounding this whole climate change debate reflects the need for the international left to have something with which to scare people and to hang its hat on’.
“I’m proud to say that the people of my electorate and Victorians generally have overwhelmingly accepted the scientific consensus on climate change and are demanding action to reduce our emissions – and I’m very pleased the Brumby government is delivering.
“The Brumby Labor Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and creating a climate of opportunity,” Ms Tierney said.