Victoria's Climate Change Act 2017 establishes a long-term target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Act also requires 5-yearly interim emissions reduction targets to be set to keep Victoria on track to meet the state's long-term target of net zero.

To drive emissions reduction efforts prior to the legislated targets, the Victorian Government committed to reduce Victoria’s emissions by 15 to 20% below 2005 levels by 2020.

The latest emissions data shows that this target has been exceeded. In 2019, Victoria’s emissions fell to 24.8% below 2005 levels. Official emissions data for 2020 will be published in 2022.

Interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets

The Victorian Government's interim target, for the period 2021–2025, is for emissions to reduce 28–33% below 2005 levels by the end of 2025.

The Victorian Government's interim target, for the period 2026–2030, is for emissions to reduce 45–50% below 2005 levels by the end of 2030.

The targets provide certainty for investors and the business community and will help create jobs in clean energy, land restoration, zero-emissions transport, and the circular economy. Victoria’s 2030 target confirms our position among leading jurisdictions around the world, such as the United States and the European Union.

The next target, for 2035, will be set in 2023.

During June and July 2019, following the release of independent expert advice on interim targets, the government invited input from Victorians to inform its decision on targets and identify priority actions to reduce emissions.

Please visit Engage Victoria to view the results of that consultation.

As required by Victoria’s Climate Change Act 2017, many factors were considered when setting greenhouse gas emissions targets, including the latest climate science, the opportunities available to Victoria to act, reaching Victoria’s legislated target of net-zero emissions, the advice of the Independent Expert Panel on Interim Emissions Reduction Targets and the economic and social impacts of acting at a given time and in a particular manner.

The document Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy: Economic Analysis (PDF, 2.9 MB) sets out evidence on the economic impacts of the interim targets for 2025 and 2030 and the supporting policies. It brings together several pieces of analysis that cover different aspects of relevant benefits and costs.

This table outlines the remaining interim target periods to 2050 and when each interim target must be set. After a target has been set, the decision must be tabled in Parliament within 10 sitting days.

Future interim targets

Target period

Target must be set (on or before)

1 Jan 2031 – 31 Dec 2035

31 March 2023

1 Jan 2036 – 31 Dec 2040

31 March 2028

1 Jan 2041 – 31 Dec 2045

31 March 2033

1 Jan 2046 – 31 Dec 2050

31 March 2038

Independent expert advice on interim targets for 2025 and 2030

The Climate Change Act 2017 requires the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to seek independent expert advice to inform the setting of interim emissions reduction targets to set Victoria on a path to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change appointed an independent expert panel to provide advice on interim targets for 2025 and 2030 with the Hon Greg Combet AM as Chair and members Dr Penny Whetton and Dr Lorraine Stephenson.

The Panel’s final advice was tabled in Parliament on 6 June 2019.

The panel sought input from the Victorian community to inform the minister's advice on interim targets.

The panel published an issues paper as the basis for an online public consultation process. The consultation was open from 29 March to 1 May 2018.

Issues Paper: Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030) (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Issues Paper: Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030) ACCESSIBLE VERSION (DOCX, 1.4 MB)

The public was invited to read this paper, respond to the questions, and provide the panel with any further evidence that could support the development of its advice.

Please visit Engage Victoria to view the results of this consultation.

The Interim Targets Independent Expert Panel terms of reference reflected the statutory requirements laid out in section 12 of the Climate Change Act 2017.

The panel’s advice was required to include interim target options, indicative trajectories to net zero emissions by 2050, and potential emissions reduction opportunities to achieve the targets.

The panel was required to consider economic, environmental and social circumstances and impacts, and the latest climate science, national and global climate action, low-emissions technology and progress in reducing Victoria’s emissions. The panel’s terms of reference were amended in February 2019 to reflect a revised due date for its final advice.

Read the full Terms of Reference (DOCX, 33.2 KB)

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change appointed the Independent Expert Panel to advise interim emissions reduction targets in October 2017. The members were:

  • The Hon Greg Combet AM (Chair)
  • Dr Penny Whetton
  • Dr Lorraine Stephenson

The panel members have significant experience in climate change science, low emissions technologies and climate policy. The panel was supported by a Secretariat in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Hon Greg Combet AM is the Chair of IFM Investors, Chair of Industry Super Australia, and a ME Bank Director. Mr Combet also consults with industry and governments.

Mr Combet held numerous Ministerial and Parliamentary Secretary roles in the Australian Government from 2007 to 2013, including Minister for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science. Before this, Mr Combet held the ACTU Secretary's role for 8 years and worked as a trade union official and in the mining industry in previous years.

Dr Penny Whetton was an Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. In Dr Whetton's 25-year career with CSIRO, she took a leading role in Australian science on projecting regional climate change and the use of projections in impact assessment. Through this and her community engagement, she made a unique contribution to a national understanding of and preparedness to respond to climate change.

Dr Whetton was a lead author of the regionalisation and climate scenarios chapters of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the regional projections chapter of the Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC Australasia chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report.

Dr Lorraine Stephenson has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector and has worked on climate change policy and strategy since 1998. As a consultant, she works with clients to create opportunities to respond to climate change risks, including options to drive investments in low- emission technologies.

Dr Stephenson's other current roles include Non-executive Director of Queensland Electricity Transmission Corporation Limited (Powerlink), Non-executive Director of Good Environmental Choice Australia and member of the NSW Climate Change Council.

She was formerly the Chief Clean Energy Advisor to the Queensland Government, a Partner at Ernst & Young, Non-executive Director of Ergon Energy and Non-executive Director of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network. Dr Stephenson is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering and has formal qualifications in governance, management and science.

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Page last updated: 02/05/21