Environment Victoria has been a strong campaigner for climate action for many years. Their most recent Quarterly News (Autumn No 35) has a number of items on Gippsland. They include “Communities Leading Change in the Latrobe Valley” about scientist Ruth Harper who works in the renewable energy sector; “New Bushfires Film looks beyond the burning”* which has the voices of East Gippsland bushfire survivors; and “Community Power stops AGL’s dirty gas plan” on how Australia’s biggest polluter’s gas plan for Westernport Bay was thwarted.
But perhaps the most important article is “The Road to Coal Free Victoria” by Taegan Edwards. She began her article by stating the obvious “Renewables are in and coal is out” and then added “Almost every day the Australian media speculate about the shortening lifetime of the remaining coal-burning power stations.” The article briefly looks at the failure of the Federal government to act, either on phasing out the coal-fired stations as quickly as possible or encouraging their renewable energy replacements. The state government is quite advanced with the latter action.
On the recently announced proposed closure of Yallourn Edwards noted “2028 is too long to keep Yallourn polluting especially considering the 2030 timeline that scientists say we need for all coal in Victoria to close…it also indicates Victoria’s long awaited climate targets for 2025 and 2030 will be out of step with what the science demands.” She concludes Things are shifting fast. The clean energy juggernought now seems unstoppable and our exit from coal inevitable. But we must double down on our efforts…keep sight of urgent climate action milestones and focus on support for communities on the frontlines of change”
Along with the work of Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria is to be congratulated for this local focus. Without this, there can be no just, or rapid, transition.
*already screened in Bairnsdale. Environment Victoria website is here.