BSL welcomes report to Victorian Government on path to low carbon economy

6 June 2019

Statement by BSL Executive Director Conny Lenneberg on the Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-30) Final Report

The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-30) Final Report tabled in the Victorian Parliament today.

It’s clear from the report that, if left unaddressed, climate change will have a profound negative impact on all of our futures, particularly for the highly disadvantaged households we work with. For example, heatwaves will become more intense and frequent and hit older people and those with health issues hard. Many of the most disadvantaged households have the least resources to cope with the negative impacts of climate change.

The report, by an independent expert panel chaired by Greg Combet, provides a clear, science-based pathway to emissions reductions.

It’s imperative that the Victorian Government takes action to keep Victoria’s emissions in line with keeping global warming below an increase of 1.5 degrees.

We cannot afford to wait any longer for climate change action. The costs of inaction are high and will increase.

We know that climate action presents challenges. It also presents real opportunities to create jobs as Victoria moves towards clean energy and a low carbon future. It will be essential to have an integrated strategy to ensure economic security and seize the opportunities as we transition to a zero-carbon future.

The government also needs to ensure that there is a clear strategy to engage with and support communities and households affected by the impacts of climate change, and those living in coal-dependent communities, during the transition.

The expert panel’s report outlines options for Victoria’s response to climate change, including pathways to net zero emissions by 2050, interim targets and emissions reduction opportunities. It takes into account scientific, economic, environmental and social circumstances and concludes that the benefits of taking action on climate change far outweigh the costs.