The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, the Investor Group on Climate Change, Victorian Trades Hall Council, the Victorian Council of Social Service and Environment Victoria developed the statement, urging the Victorian Government to reduce emissions and implement a plan to transition to a low-carbon economy.
The organisations call on the Victorian Government to:
- Set emissions reduction targets in line with Victoria’s equitable share of the global emissions reduction challenge set by the objectives of the Paris agreement (to keep warming well below two degrees and pursue efforts to keep warming to 1.5 degrees), and the achievement of net zero emissions by 2050;
- Establish an independent authority to guide planning and implementation of equitable climate transition policies, including fair transition for workers and industries, households, and communities facing the greatest risk;
- Assist industries and communities to adapt to the consequences of climate change; and
- Coordinate with other jurisdictions to achieve a nation-wide approach.
Taking immediate action will ensure Victorians reap the multiple benefits of cutting emissions: avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, attracting new jobs and investment to the state and ensuring no one is left behind in the transition.
Mark Stone, CEO of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "The overwhelming weight of science tells us that decarbonising our economy is necessary. If managed well, decarbonisation can benefit local business, workers and communities. Conversely, no action will leave business and workers exposed and will lead to harmful impacts on all Victorians. Local innovation, investment and a carefully managed transition will be vital if we are to successfully tackle climate change and secure business interests, jobs and sustainable and inclusive prosperity. A succession of rapidly reversed policies or no policy at all, will result in further damage to Victoria’s reputation and competitiveness."
Tim Piper, Victorian Head of the Australian Industry Group, said: "Emissions targets will have to keep deepening over time to achieve our widely shared objective, which is a successful global effort to mitigate the risks of climate change, while continuing to improve Australian prosperity. These targets should be pursued through policies that avert negative impacts on the community. A key part of that is to maintain our trade competitiveness and help industry thrive through a successful transition to net zero emissions by 2050."
Erwin Jackson, spokesperson for the Investor Group on Climate Change, said: "Global markets are shifting to low carbon options and institutional investors are increasingly aligning investment decisions around zero carbon strategies. The implementation of credible climate change policies in Victoria would be a positive market signal to investors in Australia and around the world and would unlock investment opportunities. Ultimately, Australia needs a national approach to climate change which is aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Investors will work with all governments to pursue a policy response that deliver a prosperous economy."
Luke Hilakari, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, said: "It’s workers at the front line that know firsthand the true impact of climate change, and as we’ve seen from the smoke across Sydney, climate change can make outdoor work unsafe. While the job opportunities are huge in the renewable energy sector, we know workers must be front and centre in any decisions about a just transition. To this end, we urge the state government to adopt a just transitions authority to lead this work."
Emma King, CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Services, said: "We're coming together because the threat to our planet, health and economy concerns everybody. All Victorians should be on a unity ticket when it comes to climate change. Climate change demands an urgent, comprehensive and coordinated response. That response must also be fair and equitable, and ensure no one is left behind. So the challenge for Victoria is clear: we must act boldly and urgently, but also fairly."
Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria, said: "When Australians look out the window they see the climate changing, bringing new risks to our economy, our homes, families, towns and cities and the natural ecosystems that sustain us. Premier Andrews has an opportunity to be the leader Australia needs by laying out a clear plan to achieve strong emissions targets and safeguard Victoria's future prosperity."
Read the full Joint Policy Principles Statement here
Media contact: Hannah Craft, 0423 377 965