Media release

Victorian Climate Charter a step forward in the fight against climate change

February 11, 2016

Environmental Justice Australia welcomes the findings and recommendations of the Independent Review into Victoria’s Climate Change Act.

The Independent Review Panel’s report, released this morning, recommends the Victorian Government write a Climate Charter into the state’s laws. The Charter is to contain objectives and principles for dealing with climate change. Like Victoria’s Human Rights Charter, a Climate Charter would mean that all government plans, policies and decisions must consider the principles in the charter.

The announcement came as part of the Climate Change Act Review which was tabled this morning in Parliament.

“Currently very few Victorian government decisions need to consider climate change. A Climate Charter would change that. said Environmental Justice Australia lawyer Felicity Millner.

It’s fantastic that the independent review panel has listened to the hundreds of Victorians who made submissions in support of a Climate Charter.”

“We urge the government to adopt the recommendation for a Climate Charter, to drive real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions across Victoria.”

“We also strongly support the recommendation by the panel to have long-term and interim emissions reductions targets, informed by the best available science and the international Paris agreement to reduce emissions, as part of the Climate Change Act. This will ensure Victoria stays ahead of the game in relation to climate policy, and pulls its weight in global efforts to cut emissions.”

The review also recommends that government decisions that will have implications for climate change be brought within the Act, so that decision makers have to consider climate change when making these decisions.

If decision makers don’t comply with this obligation, the review recommends increased rights for Victorians to take these matters to court – empowering citizens to stand up for their climate.

“We submitted that these rights were necessary, because climate affects all citizens, and citizens should be able to hold their governments accountable if they fail to act on climate change.

“This review report presents the Victorian Government with good and ambitious ideas to deal with climate change. We look forward to seeing an overhaul of the Climate Change Act that puts these ideas into action.

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