On 2 May 2021, the Victorian Government announced an ambitious new Climate Change Strategy and emissions reduction targets for the state, aiming for a 28-33 per cent cut by 2025 and a 45-50 per cent cut by 2030.
The Victorian Government announced that its strategy is underpinned by strong government action. That includes investing more than $100 million to transform the state’s transport sector, offering up to $3,000 for Victorians who buy zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and a target that 50 per cent of all new car sales in Victoria will be ZEVs by 2030.
The State Government states that it is investing almost $20 million to reduce emissions in Victoria’s agriculture sector and work with farmers to make their farms more sustainable. This includes $3.9 million to fund world-leading research and trials of new feed to reduce emissions from livestock.
A further $15.3 million for the Victorian Carbon Farming Program will help farmers store more carbon in shelterbelt trees and engage in agroforestry.
Government operations, from schools and hospitals to police stations and metro trains, will also be powered with 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.
Acting Premier of Victoria, James Merlino, said: “With strong action on climate change, we can position Victoria as a global leader – advancing new technology, ground-breaking innovation and driving the creation of new jobs for Victorians.”
Minister for Public Transport, Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll, added: “Transport is one of the state’s biggest emitters – but Victoria’s transport sector stands ready to take strong action to ensure a sustainable industry, and future, for our state.”
The Climate Change Strategy follows the Labor Government’s major investment to transition the state to a cleaner economy, powered by 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.
Do the Victorian climate targets go far enough?
Environment Victoria CEO, Jono La Nauze, said Victoria’s new climate targets more pressure on the Federal Government to increase their target of only 26-28 per cent emissions cuts by 2030.
“By announcing targets of 45-50 per cent by 2030, Victoria has almost matched the recent U.S. pledge of 50-52 per cent, but the science is clear we need to act much faster. Judged against what we need to do to stop the climate crisis, these targets fall far short.”
“U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry himself last week conceded that the U.S. target of 50-52 per cent cuts is not enough, and neither is Victoria’s target,” Mr La Nauze commented.
He said that as the unprecedented drought and bushfires in recent years have shown, Victoria is incredibly vulnerable to climate damage.
“For the past 20 years, observed temperatures and rainfall in Victoria have already been tracking against the worst climate projections. We have a lot to lose from the climate crisis,” Mr La Nauze said.
“Victorians are already reaping the economic benefits of the Andrews government’s past climate action – more and more jobs in clean industries like renewable energy.”
“We are now 18 months from a state election. If watching federal politics over the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that bipartisanship on climate matters. We call on the Victorian Liberal National party to commit to targets at least this high. We cannot afford the risk of going backwards again.”