WA to formalise new climate change and emissions laws

Smoke pours from smoke stack (safeguard
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Western Australia will introduce climate change legislation this year to establish a framework for responsible emissions reductions to meet the state’s goal of net zero by 2050. This legislation will also formalise the government’s commitment to lower emissions by 80% below 2020 levels by 2030.

Acting Energy Minister Sue Ellery said, “Legislation will drive investment in clean energy infrastructure and technologies while helping position our state as a green energy powerhouse.

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“It will also enhance business confidence and stimulate change to accelerate WA’s clean energy switch.”

While the announcement was welcomed by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, a spokesperson said proposed major gas projects in the state undermined the goal.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of clean transitions Jess Panegyres said, “Greenpeace welcomes the plan to legislate the net zero by 2050 target and set five-yearly targets, but the state government needs an urgent plan to transition away from gas in order to meet these goals,” she said.

“This move brings WA in line with other states which have legislated net zero, and is important in creating policy certainty. WA has incredible opportunities in the clean energy economy—the biggest opportunities in Australia. However, the continued expansion of the gas industry is short-sighted and will undermine WA’s ability to meet this important goal.”

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Panegyres said the next urgent priority is a plan for the state’s orderly transition out of gas.

“Gas is a fossil fuel that drives dangerous climate change. The McGowan government has already vowed a transition away from coal by 2030, and now it’s time for Western Australia to move away from dirty gas projects, and make meaningful headway on their new and ambitious clean future targets,” she said.

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