The state’s peak environment group has released independent analysis from RepuTex Energy, revealing around 4,000 new jobs would be created in land management, renewable energy, and other industries if the state government reinstated and strengthened conditions requiring WA’s largest polluters to offset greenhouse gas emissions.
With a focus on offsetting growing pollution from liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in WA, the report reveals far reaching environmental and economic benefits resulting from the development of a local carbon offsetting industry.
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said the report confirmed that state action to control pollution from the LNG industry was good for the economy, and could help kick start significant new industries in WA.
“Earlier this year, it was revealed that rapidly growing carbon pollution from LNG production in WA was putting Australia’s Paris Agreement targets at risk.
“This new research confirms that action to control that carbon pollution at a state level would result in significant new investment and employment opportunities in carbon farming, tree planting, renewable energy, land management, and other clean industries.
“We are particularly pleased to see the greatest benefits would be felt in regional WA, with significant opportunities for Indigenous employment in improved land management and carbon farming across the state’s vast rangelands.”
LNG projects are Western Australia’s largest and fastest growing source of carbon pollution, with LNG related carbon emissions rising to over 30 million tonnes per year as Chevron’s giant Wheatstone and Gorgon projects have come online in the last 12 months.
Measures to control pollution from these facilities have either proven ineffective, or were removed under the Barnett Government. WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has ordered a review into carbon pollution controls on these projects, and it is expected that the EPA will provide advice to government in early 2019.
Reputex Energy analysis suggests that if LNG production facilities are required to offset their direct emissions, WA has abundant potential to meet modelled demand. Around 80 million tonnes of emissions reduction opportunities were identified across all possible activities.
Mr Verstegen said, “With LNG companies setting their own pollution limits under the Morrison Government’s climate policy, there is no indication that the rising pollution from LNG will be addressed by the Commonwealth any time soon.
“This report confirms that if the State Government acts now, we can capture substantial employment and economic benefits for WA, however these benefits will not be guaranteed if we wait for the Commonwealth Government to act.
“While it would deliver real benefits and jobs, the cost of offsetting carbon pollution from LNG developments represents only a few percent of the profits the Chevron and other LNG companies are generating from LNG production in WA.
“As LNG producers like Chevron pay little tax and no royalties, requiring them to offset their carbon pollution is a way to capture greater benefits from these projects for our economy, while at the same time kick starting new clean industries and helping drive the transition to renewable energy in our state.”