Western Australia’s peak environment group is seeking urgent clarification from the WA Government on a carbon pollution reduction target for WA, after it was reported that Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has ruled out a target ahead of public consultation on the government’s promised climate change policy.
IMAGE: Chevron's Barrow Island LNG Plant CREDIT: Google
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said that emissions reduction targets were an absolutely fundamental foundation of any credible climate change policy, and ruling out a target before consultation even began would make the government’s consultation on climate policy appear a sham.
“It would be extremely concerning if the WA Government were ruling out carbon pollution targets before consultation on their climate change policy even begins. This would send a clear message to the WA community that the government is not interested in taking climate change seriously, or having a credible climate change policy for our state.
“Every other Australian state has pollution reduction targets, WA has had a target in the past, and even Tony Abbott recognised the need for pollution reduction targets.
“Earlier this week, we welcomed comments from the Premier that WA was open to taking state-based action on climate change. Of course we need to take action at a state level. Every other state is taking action, and we need to be doing the same because it is our pollution that is putting Australia’s Paris agreements at risk.
“At the national level, the only countries that do not have carbon pollution targets are Donald Trump’s United States of America and Saudi Arabia. Ruling out a target for WA would put the WA Government in the territory of fringe climate denialism.
“WA is the only state in Australia with increasing pollution, driven by emissions from the LNG sector. It is this pollution from WA LNG that is putting Australia’s Paris targets at risk. The State Government is responsible for regulating this industry and this pollution.
“With no sign of action to address this at a Commonwealth level, it is both an essential responsibility and a huge economic opportunity to take state action. Setting carbon pollution targets for WA would drive new jobs and investment in the industries of the future - in renewable energy, carbon farming, and clean minerals processing.
“On the other hand, allowing our pollution to continue to increase with no targets will mean our state will get left behind as global demand for clean resources grows.
“We have sought urgent clarification about media reports indicating that a pollution target is off the table in WA, before consultation has even begun on the state’s climate change policy.”