Victoria is home to the second largest brown coal resource in the world. This low cost and abundant resource has ensured the supply of affordable and reliable electricity that has supported our economic prosperity for nearly a century. However, there is a fundamental change underway which will affect the way brown coal will be used in the future.
While brown coal-fired power generation supplies the majority of Victoria’s electricity today, its share of generation will reduce over the coming decades with the retirement of existing generators, market conditions and the need to respond to climate change. Climate change goals have been set at a global, national and local level. In the Paris Agreement, the global community agreed to limit warming to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. As part of its contribution to the Paris Agreement, Australia has set a domestic target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. In Victoria, the Climate Change Act 2017 provides the foundation for Victoria’s action on climate change. The Act includes an economy-wide target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and as a first step, the Government has set an interim 2020 target of 15-20 per cent below 2005 levels. The Act requires progressively stronger legislated targets every five years from 2020. Decisions regarding new uses of brown coal will be made against the backdrop of these commitments.
At the same time, there is strong investor interest in using our valuable coal resources to make alternative high value, low emission products for domestic and international markets. These projects could provide new economic development and trade opportunities, bringing high-skilled jobs and investment to the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland.

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