Under a new draft guideline released by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) today, proponents of major greenhouse gas emitting projects will need to show how they can reasonably and practicably avoid, reduce, and offset emissions to contribute to the State’s aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.
The EPA has released its draft greenhouse gas emissions assessment guideline, following comprehensive consultation with industry and the community.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said the guideline was shaped by the almost 7000 submissions received during the public consultation period.
The State Government’s announcement in August of its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy for Major Projects was also important in framing the EPA’s guideline.
“A key foundation of the draft guideline released today is the expectation that the proponent will articulate their emission reduction targets over time to help contribute to the State’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Dr Hatton said.
Dr Hatton said while the onus would be on the proponent to demonstrate they were doing all they could to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA supported the public reporting of emissions against interim targets set through greenhouse management plans.
“The EPA supports proponents being publicly accountable for meeting the greenhouse gas targets set by the State, and will also consider undertaking its own public reporting on the progress of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Western Australia,” Dr Hatton said.
“In the nine months since the EPA released its initial guidance, much has changed in the public discourse about the impact climate change is having on our environment.
“Encouragingly, some Australian business leaders in the resources, aviation and other corporate sectors have announced their commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, which we welcome as a step in the right direction towards prioritising the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The draft of the revised greenhouse gas guideline has been provided to the EPA’s Stakeholder Reference Group for eight weeks for further feedback and the EPA continues to be open to new information. The final guidance will be released in March 2020. The EPA will also review its guideline after the State Government has released its State Climate Policy next year.
The EPA gives independent environmental advice to the State Government and has provided advice on greenhouse gas emissions on more than 40 significant projects for more than two decades.
EPA Media Contact: Jayne Rickard on 0466 534 008