Yesterday the Victorian Government released Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy, which sets new interim emissions reduction targets for the next decade, including initiatives across different sectors of the Victorian economy to meet the targets. The strategy has implications for climate change action, jobs, economic recovery and the environment.
Regional communities will be the biggest winners when it comes to the energy transition with 24,400 jobs being created from delivering the renewable energy projects to meet the new targets.
The majority of emissions reductions in Victoria will come from the energy sector, which is one of the most emissions-intensive in the world. Renewable energy is growing in Victoria and will continue to replace the ageing and polluting fossil fuel-powered generators. The Government acknowledges the challenge with the Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy having an energy pledge that “50 per cent of Victoria's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030.”
“Renewable energy presents the greatest and most immediate opportunity to propel Victoria to net-zero emissions” - Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy, p. 19
Other initiatives outlined by the Government include:
- VRET2 where the Government will source at least 600MW from new renewable energy
- Investing in upgrading the grid with a $540 million REZ Fund and establishment of a new department to manage it VicGrid
- $108m Energy Innovation Initiative that supports new technology like offshore wind
- $10m for research and development initiatives for renewable hydrogen energy industry
- $10 million to Clean Economy initiatives to upskill and support workers to take on clean energy jobs.
- $6 million Clean Economy Workforce Capacity Building Fund
- $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund which will help support innovation including “clean economy”
We welcome the Victorian Government’s emissions reduction targets and pledges that are double that at the Federal level and put us in line with other countries emissions reductions like the USA. We will continue to call for targets that leave a safe climate and call for cross-party support for ambition in Victoria.
Renewable energy is ready to replace fossil fuel polluting energy and can be scaled up to drive bigger emission cuts to be in line with 1.5 degrees.
We have outlined some initiatives to make sure local communities get the most out of the energy transition such as best practice community engagement and benefit sharing and look forward to seeing more details about the Government’s targets.