The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has published its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions guidance, following an industry backlash against its draft last year.
Criticised for leaving the state at a competitive disadvantage, the newly-published guidance reflects the same intent, requiring large emitters of GHG to publish their emission reduction targets to meet Western Australia’s net zero target.
Changes to the 2019 guidance include clarification regarding the basis for the net zero by 2050 target and other types of offsets recognised by the EPA.
The guidance was published following more than 20 weeks of consultation and nearly 7000 submissions from the community and industry.
EPA chair Tom Hatton said feedback from the consultation had helped refine the guidance, including amending the definition of a GHG to be consistent with commonwealth measures, and providing further guidance around the offsets that the EPA will recognise.
“Over the past year, the serious consequences of greenhouse gas emissions to our state and nation have become more real to many of us, but entirely in line with our scientific understanding of how greenhouse gas emissions can impact our climate and environment,” Hatton said.
“The level of public interest and concern has grown, but so has the response from industry. Many of the companies operating or proposing to operate in Western Australia have recently made public commitments to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.
“The EPA welcomes these initiatives and anticipates these commitments will be reflected in the emissions reductions targets and timetables for new proposals.”
Hatton expects the guidance to provide industry with a clear framework for the management of GHG emissions from future proposals.