Advocates welcome Vic Parliament inquiry into community-owned renewable energy

884wind-turbine11.jpgEnvironment group Friends of the Earth and community renewables advocate Embark have welcomed the surprise announcement of a Victorian Parliament inquiry into community-owned renewable energy. 

"The Victorian Parliament's inquiry into community energy is very welcome and will allow all political parties to understand the benefits community-owned renewable energy," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's renewable energy spokesperson.

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June 2016 Update

FoE's Yes 2 Renewables campaign secures Vic Renewable Energy Targets

IMG_7402.jpgWe're winning: After Friends of the Earth's community campaign lasting nearly two-and-a-half years, the Victorian government announced state Renewable Energy Targets of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025.
 
The Victorian Renewable Energy Targets will double wind energy capacity in the state by 2020 and triple renewable energy capacity by 2025–creating 10,000 jobs and unlocking a $2.5 billion investment opportunity in the process. 
 
Analysis from University of Melbourne Energy Institute finds that Australia now has an implicit national Renewable Energy Target of 30-35% by 2030 due to Victoria’s targets. Competitive pressure in the electricity market from new renewable energy capacity will see the closure of polluting coal power plants like Hazelwood. 
 
The Yes 2 Renewables team and our community and union allies are wrapped with the outcome. We put together this overview of the long road to VRET: https://yes2renewables.org/2016/06/22/the-long-road-to-vret-foes-campaign-for-a-vic-renewable-energy-target/.
 
FoE's renewable team are ready for the next big campaign, but need your help to stay in the game. Please make a donation today: https://friendsofearthmelbourne.nationbuilder.com/together_we_can_secure_the_vret.
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Renewable energy jobs boom on the horizon as Andrews govt announces Vic Renewable Energy Targets


vret_announcement.jpgARARAT, 15 JUNE 2016: A renewable energy boom is on the horizon for Victoria as the Andrews government today announces state Renewable Energy Targets (VRET). The long-awaited announcement comes after a two-and-a-half year community campaign to grow renewables.

"The Andrews government's announcement of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is a big win for communities who want a pathway to 100 percent," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson.

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A warning on local climate impacts

Bells_Swamp.jpgIn the lead-up to the Bendigo in a Warming Future forum, which will be held in Bendigo on June 15, a fieldtrip hosted by local ecologists highlighted the impacts of climate change which are already being felt in northern Victoria.

Warning on local climate      

Climate change is already taking its toll locally. During a field trip to Bell Swamp and Mount Alexander on Friday, local ecologists pointed out examples of the impact on the region’s ecology.

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Victoria back in the game on climate change

Premier_leadership_banner_June_2016.jpgFriends of the Earth has welcomed the Victorian government’s announcement that it intends to take ‘decisive action’ to tackle climate change and re-assert the states leadership role on climate action.

The Andrews government has today released its response to the Independent Review (IRC) of the Climate Change Act (CCA), supporting almost all of the recommendations proposed by the IRC.

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Communities resolute after new minister announces delay to onshore gas decision

wade_image_June_2016.jpgCommunities and environment groups have responded to the announcement this morning that the Andrews Government will delay the decision on onshore gas mining with disappointment, but have expressed that they will remain resolute. 

They are still planning to muster utes from across the state at Spring St today at 2.30pm to demand the government put in place a permanent ban on all onshore gas mining.

"We're disappointed that the government has chosen to defer the decision, because the evidence that fracking is damaging to ground water is compelling. However, we understand the need for the minister to be able to defend his decision once he has made it, so appreciate that he needs to take the time to understand community concern about onshore gas" said Friends of the Earth Campaign Coordinator Cam Walker.

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Maryvale Mill Increases Reliance on Native Forest

Fernbank_Gippsland_May_2016.jpgEnvironmental organisation Friends of the Earth has raised concerns regarding the logging and sale of plantation land in the Fernbank region of East Gippsland.

The bluegum plantations were established between 2005 and 2009 by Macquarie Bank in conjunction with Midway Plantations. The plantations were planted largely to meet the demands of a new Bleached Pulp Facility at Maryvale.

During the process to get the Facility approved, it was claimed that it would be sourcing its fibre needs from 20,000 ha of new hardwood plantations that were to be planted between 2005 and 2019 in the Gippsland region. A “temporary” increase in access to native forests was granted in 2005, as an interim solution to the plantation supply shortfall.

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