The Victorian State Government’s Climate Change White Paper – Implementation Plan, shows determination to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of lowering emissions by 20% compared with 2000 levels, whether or not there is global agreement on greenhouse gas abatement targets. Around the world other states and countries have also set abatement targets. California has set a target of returning to 1990 emissions by 2020. And the UK aims to reduce emissions by 34% relative to 1990 levels.
In the White Paper 10 action areas for achieving this target are mapped out, which are:
- Climate change legislation to cut greenhouse pollution by 20% – The Climate Change Act, which passed state parliament in September .
- Moving towards a cleaner energy mix. This includes the prohibition of the construction of brown coal power stations, and also a commitment for emissions from existing brown coal powered stations to be reduced.
- Investment in renewable and clean energy in Australia. It has the vision of making Australia the “solar state” with 5% of our power to come from solar energy by 2020, and of bringing in a large scale solar feed in tariff. In 2010 93% of Victoria’s power comes from brown coal, by 2020 the aim is that this will be reduced to 60%, with the rest coming from wind (20%), natural gas (15%) and solar (5%).
- Support cleaner and more efficient homes. This will be achieved via expansion of the VEET (Victorian Energy Efficiency Taskforce) scheme and by requiring all homes to be 5 star by 2020.
- Positioning Victoria to be a global clean tech leader by 2015. This sees leadership in the area of carbon finance and in helping business reduce its carbon emissions. It doesn’t have any particular focus on a specific area (eg energy efficient buildings in a temperate climate). It sees skills developing in the areas of low energy homes
- Creating new opportunities in agriculture, food and forestry, with a focus on carbon offsets, lower carbon agricultural practices and soil carbon sequestration. A Victorian carbon exchange will be developed whereby these offsets can be voluntarily purchased.
- Delivering innovative transport solutions. This has a focus towards moving the transport of people and freight from motor vehicles to public transport and rail, and supporting vehicle technology with lower emissions.
- Greening government. This has a focus on increasing greenpower purchases, reducing energy use in buildings through an energy performance contract model and installing cogeneration systems in hospitals. It also provides support to local government
- Helping Victorians adapt to climate change, particularly in adapting to the effects of heat, floods and drought, and also in researching and understanding better the long term impacts of climate change, in particular along the coastline.
- Strengthening “Climate Communities.” This provides grants to community groups through the Climate Communities program. The AuSSI Vic Resource Smart Schools program will also be extended to all government schools.
Access the Whitepaper at http://www.climatecommunities.vic.gov.au/