Victoria is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change. Our daily maximum average temperature has increased by 0.9°C since 1910, and we are increasingly being subjected to costly and dangerous heatwaves, bushfires, floods and storms.
As Victorian and global greenhouse emissions continue to rise, we have an ever-increasing understanding of the enormous impact that climate change will have on our communities, our environment and our economy. As a society with among the highest per capita emissions on the planet, we have every incentive to reduce our pollution and set an example for other jurisdictions to follow.
Around ninety percent of Victoria’s electricity and over fifty percent of our greenhouse gas emissions2 come from five polluting coal-fired power stations: Hazelwood, Yallourn, Loy Yang A and Loy Yang B in the Latrobe Valley, and the Anglesea Power Station on the Surf Coast.
But cleaning up our energy supply is not just about responding to climate change. Coal may have provided Victoria with cheap electricity through the 20th century, but now we’re starting to feel its true costs. These have been best illustrated by the health and financial impacts of the Hazelwood mine fire,3 but are also found in the ongoing carbon
emissions and air pollution from our big power stations.
Any responsible state government must respond to this situation by acting immediately to clean up and diversify Victoria’s power generation.