There was no way of avoiding the conjecture going on at a national level ahead of COP26. The Prime Minister’s announcement on 26 October recognised the Government’s decision to commit to net zero by 2050 as the ‘Australian Way’. While the debate will continue on the adequacy of that decision to address global climate change, we can be sure Victoria is progressing on the basis of exceeding that target.
Our contribution is fundamental. The Victorian water industry contributes about a quarter of the Government’s emissions. While it is a tough road ahead for members – some experiencing high Scope 1 emissions related to their industry inputs and others with high Scope 2 emissions tied to production - we have not wavered on committing to our targets.
The draft Statement of Obligations (Emissions Reduction) is encouraging in taking its cue from our Policy Platform for a clear net zero emissions target and access to Victorian carbon offsets available under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. We are seeing a commitment to eliminating Scope 2 emissions by 2025 and members setting Scope 1 emissions targets for 2030.
We also see our desire for broader engagement with Victorian communities to understand their willingness to pay for emissions reductions being achieved through a current project run in partnership with WSAA. The results of this project will signal ahead of Price Review 2023 the customer’s support for emissions reduction efforts.
Leaving the national conjecture aside, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is not consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5˚C. To fulfil that goal, we will need to reach net-zero emissions by 2035. It is encouraging to see that the Victorian water industry is well on the way to doing that.