Climate change action in Victoria

Published 3 March 2017 by Ian Davies MEIANZ CEnvP, Victorian Division Vice President

In June 2016, as a response to the COP21 Paris initiative, the Victorian State Government announced the roll-out of a comprehensive state-wide Climate Change program – TAKE2.  TAKE2 enables all Victorians to be part of action on climate change - a world first government program and an essential part of how Victoria will meet ambitious, but achievable, emissions targets - setting Victoria on the path to net zero emissions by 2050.  TAKE2 comprises a voluntary framework for the community, individuals, and businesses across Victoria to make a commitment, ‘a Pledge’, towards making a contribution towards helping to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees and to nominate some measures which could be taken in areas such as greater energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy, emissions reductions and carbon storage to help in achieving the overall emissions reduction target.  Suggested actions which participants may wish to consider are listed on the TAKE2 website.

EIANZ was delighted to be invited to become one of 200 founding partners of the TAKE2 program.

Last week the Legislative Council of the Victorian State Government passed the Climate Change Bill 2016 which makes Victoria the first state in Australia to legislate a net zero emissions target by 2050.

Coinciding with this important development, ground breaking research was released about Victorians’ attitudes towards climate change.  The social research, commissioned by Sustainability Victoria and conducted by Wallis Group, an involving a survey of 3,300 people across Victoria shows that 9 out of 10 Victorians accept climate change is real and human activity is a central cause.  Some of the key findings:

  • One in three Victorians rank climate change among their top three concerns
  • More than four in five believe they can take meaningful action to reduce climate change
  • Ninety three per cent believe that as individuals, we all have a responsibility to do something
  • Ninety three per cent of Victorians expect business and industry to take climate change action and 89 per cent expect the same from environmental groups.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, says the research backs the state government’s position on climate change and investment to reduce its impact.

“Victorians accept the evidence of science and know that climate change is not only real, but that government, industry and the wider community must work together to fight it.”

As a founding partner of the TAKE2 program, EIANZ has been given access to the full summary of the research which you can read here.

As part of this series of Climate Change developments, two weeks ago, Minister D’Ambrosio announced the state government’s Climate Change Framework.  Sustainability Victoria (which is charged with program implementation) worked closely with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (which is responsible for policy and strategy) on its development and the release of the Climate Change Framework brings clear directives and targets. The framework:

  • Articulates the Victorian Government’s emissions reduction target of net zero by 2050, along with interim targets for 2020 and 2025
  • Provides a framework for action that targets greater energy efficiency, renewable energy, emissions reductions and carbon storage
  • Acknowledges that climate change effects are already underway and that government has a role in improving our resilience to a changing climate.

A core component of its narrative is the sentiment that ‘we cannot wait for others to take action on climate change: the science is very clear that we must start to reduce our emissions and prepare for the future now.’ 

EIANZ Victorian members are encouraged to check out the TAKE2 website and consider signing up to TAKE2 – as individuals and/or on behalf of their employer organisations, see who has already signed up and what they are doing.  The process of signing up is done online and is quick and straightforward.

Ian Davies, Vice President and Secretary of EIANZ Victorian Division, is currently working with Sustainability Victoria as Recruitment Lead in its Climate Change Program and would be pleased to assist members with any queries. Ian can be contacted on 0415 165 709 or at Ian.Davies@sustainability.vic.gov.au.