The Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’Brien’s call for the Federal Government to adopt long-term emissions targets is a welcome move that recognises the importance of climate action for Victoria’s future, said think tank Beyond Zero Emissions. 

Vanessa Petrie, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions, said: “In recent weeks, Victoria has suffered devastating losses of life, property and natural heritage due to bushfires, which are aggravated by climate change. The economic costs of this summer’s wild weather are in the billions.”

“It is not surprising that reasonable politicians are backing stronger climate action. This is what any leader who wants to deliver safe lives, secure livelihoods, and a healthy environment to people would do. 

“Policies that reduce emissions and accelerate Victoria’s transition to renewable energy are one of the biggest economic opportunities for the state, which is home to one of Australia’s most active manufacturing regions.

“In South-east Melbourne, helping businesses switch away from polluting and expensive gas and dirty, unreliable coal could slash energy costs by as much as half. With lower costs, small businesses could become more competitive, employ more workers, and enjoy long-term growth.

Beyond Zero Emissions’ Electrifying Industry report shows that powering manufacturing with renewable electricity could slash energy costs by 20 to 30 per cent today. In ten years or less, renewable energy could be 30 to 50% cheaper again.

“Liberal politicians from Victoria and other states are right on the money when they demand a credible climate policy. They are demonstrating leadership while the Federal government digs its heels in on inaction,” said Petrie. 

“If we want a stable future for our communities and workers, the only sensible target to pursue is zero emissions, as soon as possible. We have the solutions we need to do this. We just need the Federal Government to show the moral courage and political will to make this happen,” said Petrie.

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