The WA Climate Change Bill was introduced to the lower house late last month. When passed, it will enshrine the state’s 2050 net-zero emissions target in law.
Anna Chapman, Fossil Fuels Program Manager at the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), said the new Bill was a welcome step forward for the state, but more needed to be done by the Cook Government to tackle emissions.
“This legislation alone is not going to be sufficient to tackle WA’s emissions crisis”, she said.
The Bill does not include a 2030 interim state-wide emissions reduction target, despite concerns from groups across WA. In October, a joint open letter from 27 organisations, including the Conservation Council of WA, Greenpeace and the Western Australian Council of Social Services expressed concerns about the exclusion of a 2030 emissions target.
The Bill outlines that interim targets for the state will be set for 2035, 2040, 2045 and 2050.
Anna said “we need to make meaningful cuts to greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible if we’re going to do our part to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The problem is, while putting a net-zero target into law is important, we aren’t going to hit the target if the state government keeps signing off on highly polluting fossil fuel projects, like Woodside’s North West Shelf gas plant extension. That proposal alone would see WA locked into billions of tonnes of emissions until 2070.
“This legislation could be a solid platform to set out a path for emissions reductions in the next few years, but the next logical step is to rule out any new fossil fuel projects in WA and a pathway to phase out any existing sites as soon as possible.
“Worryingly, the Premier recently commented that WA emissions are expected to rise due to gas extraction for export, despite the pending legislation. CSIRO has warned that pushing gas into Asia could in fact displace renewables. The International Energy Agency (IEA) demonstrates how no new gas projects are needed to reach net-zero by 2050 globally, and limit global warming to 1.5C.
“Industrial-scale gas export projects - like those proposed by Woodside and others – are driven by profit and profit alone. The gas will be exported overseas to the highest bidder, corporate executives will get richer and WA’s emissions will continue to rise. These projects deliver no discernible benefit to WA and will only make our state a more dangerous place to live - as Perth has recently experienced - with increasing heatwaves and bushfires.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost nonprofit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia. For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please call 0412 272 570