The Victorian Labor Government has stifled debate on a bill to end coal in Victoria by 2030, despite the urgent climate crisis we currently face.
Earlier today the Greens attempted to bring their Transition Away from Coal Bill 2023 to a debate in the Legislative Assembly, but were blocked by the Government who hold a majority in the house.
The Greens then brought it to a debate in the Upper House, where the Government spent 90 minutes refusing to even mention the word “coal” or their plans for new coal projects.
The bill itself would have legislated an end date for coal mining and burning in Victoria of 2030, and enshrined a ban on coal mining in the Constitution.
It would also prevent the controversial ‘coal-to-hydrogen’ project currently being considered by the Labor Government from going ahead.
The Greens also have a plan to support workers and communities through this transition with a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said the recent IPCC report made it clear that tackling the climate crisis required states like Victoria to keep coal in the ground.
She said it was outrageous that the Government had fought to prevent a debate on their bill from even happening today, and that it was clear they didn’t have a plan to phase out coal early, despite being what the science demands.
To keep the pressure on the Government, the Greens have today launched a petition calling on the Government to stop the new coal-to-hydrogen project.
This is a project currently being considered by the Labor Government which would extend the life of brown coal in Victoria by converting brown coal to hydrogen for export to Japan. It would also pump out emissions equivalent to putting 735,000 new petrol cars on the road.
If the Greens’ petition receives over 10,000 signatures, it will force Parliament to debate this disastrous project.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“Despite coal and gas being the leading causes of the climate crisis, Labor continues to support new coal and gas projects, and refuses to even debate the Greens’ bill to phase out coal by 2030.
“We’re about to head into another El Nino, with an increased risk of bushfires and droughts, yet Labor supports Victoria’s existing coal plants operating into the 2040s, and is also supporting a new coal project going ahead in the Latrobe Valley. This is criminal in a climate crisis.
“This bill was an opportunity for Labor to show it was serious about meeting its emissions reduction targets, and it yet again stood on the side of fossil fuel corporations and against the interests of young people and future generations.”