The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed an announcement which will see the state government’s 2050 net-zero target enshrined in law. This move makes Western Australia the third Australian state to legislate net zero, following Victoria and Tasmania.
The new bill will also introduce five-yearly interim emissions targets, to be set by the state government, which would apply across the entire WA economy.
Today’s announcement brings WA into line with the Federal Government’s own commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050, announced last year. That announcement also enshrined a national emissions reduction target of 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2040.
WA’s Environment and Climate Action Minister, Reece Whitby, will be required to make annual reports to the State Parliament, detailing the progress towards WA’s emissions reduction targets.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetime”, said Mr Whitby.
“We need to take decisive action this decade. This legislation will help accelerate our transition to net zero emissions in a responsible and achievable way.”
Mr Whitby also announced that the State Government was examining measures to help protect WA from changes to the climate caused by global warming.
“A new adaption strategy will be released this year to help enhance our state’s climate resilience and ensure adaption is reflected in government decision making.”, he said.
Responding to the State Government announcement, CCWA Programs Director, Maggie Wood, said that WA faced a ‘unique set of challenges’ in getting its emissions under control.
“We welcome this announcement”, she said.
“We agree with the Environment Minister – climate change is the greatest challenge of our lifetime. Western Australia is the only state in which emissions have increased since 2005 – by 21 per cent – and we need strong leadership to tackle this issue.
“Western Australia faces a unique set of challenges in getting its emissions under control, not least in response to the excessive amounts of pollution produced by the state’s gas export industry. Those emissions continue to grow, which is very concerning.
“A net-zero 2050 target is a good starting point but the key to this new legislation will be setting adequate five-yearly interim emissions targets. We cannot allow for a model which permits unsustainable amounts of pollution right up until 2050. Polluters must be compelled to make meaningful cuts to their emissions as quickly as possible if we are to avoid the worst extremes of climate change. The amount of progress we make in this decade will be crucial.
“WA has already experienced unprecedented and extreme bushfires, floods and droughts. Unless this policy is made to work, we will experience many more.”
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, 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 contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]