BALLARAT renewable energy advocates have criticised two decisions from the Victorian government, including the abandonment of plans to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Minister Michael O’Brien yesterday announced Victoria would not proceed with a restriction on approvals for coal-fired power stations that would exceed a target emission level of 0.8 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt hour.
The announcement follows an independent review of the state’s climate change laws which has found “no compelling case” to keep a plan cutting Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over the next decade.
The review found keeping the state target was counterproductive after the federal government’s minimum target to cut emissions was set at five per cent, achieved through the introduction of a carbon tax.
Spokesperson for 100% Renewables Andrew Bray said the decisions represented “a real back flip”.
“It raises real questions about whether the Baillieu government understand the real economic benefits that renewable energy can bring to the economy. International spending on clean energy outstripped spending on fossil fuels for the last two years, with investment in wind and solar flowing through to regions like Ballarat,” he said, adding that the decisions were a further blow after the government introduced restrictions on wind farms.
After the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme failed to pass the federal parliament, the former Brumby government in Victoria passed laws to cut emissions by 20 per cent below 2000 levels within 10 years. Yesterday, the newly-elected Queensland government recommitted to unwinding that state’s various carbon reduction schemes.