Legislation for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) passed the lower house of Victorian Parliament last week, thanks to votes from Labor, the Greens and independent Suzanna Sheed. This moves us one step closer to a future with more clean energy, driving a construction boom of wind and solar projects across the state. Pumped Hydro Energy Storage will invariably join this push. It also underscores direct action in Victoria to act on the environment and the economy that grows from such action.
However, Matthew Guy’s Liberal/National Coalition voted against the VRET and pledged to repeal it. On top of that, they floated the possibility of another polluting coal-burning power station in Victoria! They are out of touch.
BEAM Mitchell Environment Group finds the position of the Victorian Coalition on the VRET reprehensible. Coal has a diminishing role in our energy future- even the coal companies are saying this- and there is no investment appetite for new coal, or even maintaining old coal-fired power stations. In contrast, the appetite for investing in a whole range of renewable energies and storage is strong, and increasing. Government certainty is crucial for this investment environment to reach its potential.
The Coalition must surely know the VRET will reduce Victoria’s climate pollution, increase our energy supplies, create jobs and even push down power prices. The only reason to oppose it is to slow the transition away from polluting coal power.
These attacks by the Coalition (the coal-ition) are ideological and out of touch with the challenges to Victoria. They threaten the certainty of the renewable energy industry and our best chance at rapidly cutting climate pollution. This should be an issue for bipartisanship in Victoria, and nationally. Investment in renewable technology is a priority. The private market acknowledges this reality, but it would be more secure with a bipartisan VRET.
Sustainability Victoria recently conducted a study “Climate Change Social Research” into community attitudes on climate change, and their expectations on who should be acting on this. The results were very strong in acknowledging we all have a role to play, government and local communities.
BEAM invites our own local member Steph Ryan to champion this action and its investment future. It will benefit rural Victoria.
Peter Lockyer, President BEAM Mitchell Environment Group. Sept 23 2017