The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed an announcement by the WA State Government that will see emissions from all government agencies cut by 80 per cent below 2020 levels, by 2030.
The target – which was announced by the Premier’s office and the Environment Minister on Thursday – applies transport; health and education and Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs). The government will call on range of incentives to help deliver on its 2030 deadline, including initiatives in energy efficiency, procurement of renewable energy, reduction of emissions in government vehicle fleets and the use of local offsets.
There has not yet been any new targets set for businesses and industry but the state government says ‘work will continue’ to identify ‘robust and credible emissions reductions pathways though the development of Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies (SERS)’.
Similarly, the Minister for Environment and Climate Action, Reece Whitby, said that he encouraged business and industry leaders to be ‘ambitious’ in working to develop emissions reduction strategies ‘over coming months’.
Western Australia is the only state in which emissions have increased since 2005 – by 21 per cent – much of which can be attributed to massive fossil fuel expansion, such as that proposed by the Woodside Scarborough proposal in the state’s north west.
WA’s climate policy document – released in 2020 – notes that about half of the state’s emissions come from large-scale projects with over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. This has led to concerns that WA finds itself in a ‘self-made emissions crisis’ which requires urgent action to prevent lasting damage to the climate and the state’s natural environment.
Maggie Wood, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of WA, said: “We welcome this announcement and agree with the state government that climate action is crucial to diversifying the WA economy and creating long-term jobs.
“This new interim target sets a solid foundation upon which action can be taken in order to address WA’s emissions crisis, get carbon pollution under control and avoid irreversible damage to our climate.
“We are pleased to see the Minister for Environment acknowledge the warnings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The science tells us that a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is urgently needed to keep climate impacts in check.
“However, the IPCC has also said that there can be no new fossil fuel proposals or expansion, which does not sit well with the State Government’s support of new gas plants, including the highly controversial Woodside Scarborough development.
“We will be watching the government’s future announcements for industry emissions with interest.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing more than 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]