Environmental Factor Guideline – Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The purpose of this guideline is to communicate how the factor Greenhouse Gas Emissions is considered by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.
Specifically, the current guideline (April 2020):

  • describes why the EPA has published the guideline
  • outlines how EPA guidelines are applied
  • provides background on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions factor
  • identifies activities that may be considered under this factor
  • describes how this factor links with other environmental factors
  • outlines when the EPA may apply this guideline
  • describes EIA considerations for this factor
  • provides a summary of the information required by the EPA to undertake EIA related to this factor (including consideration of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions)
  • outlines periodic public reporting requirements
  • identifies issues commonly encountered by the EPA during EIA of this factor
  • outlines the timeframes for reviewing this guideline.

July 2022: Consultation on the Draft Revised Greenhouse Gas Guidance

The EPA is reviewing its Environmental Factor Guideline – Greenhouse Gas Emissions (EFG GHG).

The review is seeking to address a range of issues considered by the EPA since the guidance was first published in April 2020.

Key changes

Changes proposed include:

  • The factor objective which is to minimise the risk of environmental harm associated with climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as far as practicable. The current guidance is to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimise the risk of environmental harm associated with climate change.
  • Proposals will be considered where they are reasonably likely to exceed: 100,000 tonnes CO2-e of scope 1 emissions in any year; or 100,000 tonnes CO2-e of scope 2 emissions in any year. In the current guidance identifies scope 1 emissions exceeding 100,000 tonnes CO2-e.
  • Proposals should not be separated into separate referrals to avoid consideration of GHG emissions.
  • The EPA’s view is that there should be ‘deep and substantial reductions’ in WA’s emissions this decade and achievement of net zero by 2050, along a linear trajectory from 2030. The current guidance requires proponents to contribute to aspirations of net zero by 2050.
  • There are a range of considerations that will now be made to ensure ‘deep and substantial reductions’ for a proposal. These are best established on a case-by-case basis.
  • The EPA will have regard to its guideline when considering new proposals, changes to existing proposals (including expansions) and changes to existing implementation conditions.
  • The EPA may take other laws and statutory decision-making processes into account that can mitigate the potential impacts on the environment when deciding whether to assess a proposal or recommend conditions. This is reflecting recent amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
  • Proponents are expected to take best practice measures to avoid and reduce their scope 1 emissions. This draft guidance now includes applying best practice design and operations which will generally be subject to peer review. Proponents are also expected to take all reasonably practicable steps to reduce their scope 2 emissions, and consider what measures they can take to reduce scope 3 emissions.

A revised draft guideline is now available for an 8-week public consultation period.

Have your say until 21 September 2022 on the updated guidance HERE.

Published Date: 
July 27, 2022
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