In Australia in 2018, the Victorian Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio, Labor, signed on to the climate emergency declaration mobilisation movement.
Why would this be worth mentioning four years later?
It could become significant because it is election time again in Victoria – Australia’s second largest state, where more than a quarter of all Australians live.
The entire climate emergency declaration movement kicked off in 2016 because individual councillors in Darebin City Council had signed on to a climate emergency declaration petition during council election time, and once elected, they then decided to turn Darebin into the first council in the world to declare a climate emergency.
In Australia, only one state and one territory has declared a climate emergency so far. Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews has categorically refused to consider doing it.
Approached at prepoll station
At the Brunswick prepoll station for the Victorian election in 2018, Ms D’Ambrosio was handing out how-to-vote cards for Brunswick Labor candidate Cindy O’Connor. As Cindy had already signed the climate emergency declaration, John Englart from Climate Action Moreland asked the minister if she would consider signing the declaration. After a short period considering the request, she accepted and signed the declaration.
Minister d’Ambrosio joined Federal Labor MPs Peter Khalil (Wills), Ged Kearney (Cooper) and her state Labor colleague (for Pascoe Vale) Lizzie Blandthorn in signing the climate emergency declaration at a personal level.
The Labor party won the federal election in May 2022 on a promise that they will take climate action seriously.
The Victorian state minister has done important work as part of the Andrews Victorian Labor Government with the passage of the Climate Act in 2017 and the Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 50 per cent clean energy generation in the grid by 2030, as well as Solar for Homes and Solar for Renters programs. If re-elected in November 2022, will she also push for a new Victorian Labor government to declare a climate emergency? Who else among the Labor candidates will?