Press Release - October 20, 2022

Statement in response to Victorian government’s 95% renewable energy target by 2035

October 20, 2022

Environmental Justice Australia Principal Lawyer Hollie Kerwin said:

“The Victorian government’s new target of 95 per cent renewable energy by 2035 and emissions reduction target of 75 to 80 per cent is huge.

“This will change the lives of people across the state. Cheaper energy for families struggling to pay their bills. The Latrobe Valley community who, from 2035, will finally breathe clean air. Young people who know that at least in Victoria the future will be powered by renewables.

“It’s a big week for coal pollution in Victoria. Right now, we’re in court representing Environment Victoria in a landmark case – the first challenge of lax regulation of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the three giant coal burning power stations in the state.

“This matters today, tomorrow and all the way to 2035.

“It was one year ago, our five brave young clients, from Victoria and across the country told the UN their lives are full of climate harms, fires keeping them inside their homes, destroying Country, closing schools.

“Today we can tell them that by 2035 at least in Victoria the future will be one powered by renewables. It’s a good start.

“The next few years are critical for our climate, for our communities, for our environment. This announcement sets Victoria on a path for a future where all of us can thrive – because this is about all of us. As the transition moves forward, our government needs to ensure communities can be meaningfully involved in shaping the decisions that affect them.”

Friends of Latrobe Water spokesperson Tracey Anton said:

“Today’s announcement brings coal closure forward and it’s a huge step in the right direction.

“Our community has dealt with the health and environmental impacts of living close to the Latrobe Valley coal mines and power stations for decades – with coal closure now in our near future, planning a fair and just transition is more urgent than ever.

“As power stations close, operators must be held accountable to close mines and clean up the toxic mess they created, ensuring our community is not left to deal with the ongoing risks to our health and environment.”

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