Environment Victoria has released a report, Sun Blocks and Wind Breaks, to highlight what it describes as the Victorian Coalition Government’s “systematic campaign” against renewable energy and climate policies.
“Most of Victoria’s policy agenda for a cleaner and more efficient energy mix has been deliberately dismantled over the past four years,” said Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria.
“This report details how these ideological attacks have seen Victoria fall behind states like South Australia in the race to embrace clean energy. Victoria continues to have the dirtiest power supply in the country.”
“The Coalition’s actions to stymie clean energy come at a time when community concern over climate change, air pollution and cost of living pressures mean there is clear support for more – not less – clean energy.”
“Eighty per cent of Victorians support renewable energy and yet the Coalition remains joined at the hip with the dirty end of town”.
The new report highlights at least twenty-five attacks on clean and efficient energy by the Baillieu-Napthine Governments since the 2010 election.
These include:implementing restrictive regulations on new wind-farms, removing the 20 per cent emissions reduction target from the Climate Change Act, slashing access to the solar feed-in-tariff and spending taxpayer money on a PR campaign to promote coal mining.
Others include measures which undermine investment and jobs in renewable energy or energy efficiency, or which prop up the incumbent players who have a vested interest in selling more fossil-fuel-generated electricity.
The report says few of these attacks on clean energy were flagged ahead of the 2010 election. It says many of the promises for improvements made by the Coalition in the lead-up to that election have been broken.
“The decisions by the current Government stand in stark contrast to the actions needed to reduce emissions and move to renewable energy production and mean Victoria has missed out on billions of dollars of investment, thousands of jobs and the chance to clean up our power supply,” the document says.
“Renewable energy is one of the world’s fastest growing industries but while it is moving forward the Coalition is taking Victoria backwards”.
Environment Victoria is releasing the report ahead of the state’s November election, where it appears that the Napthine government is heading for defeat.
“It is critical that all sides of politics understand that at stake is a great opportunity to be the state that leads the nation in cleaning up and transforming our power sector and creating jobs and investment in clean energy,” the report says.
“If our politicians want to enjoy political power then they need to embrace clean power”.