Western Australia reinforces zero emission target for major projects

Pluto LNG. Image: Woodside

The Western Australian Government has released a new greenhouse gas emissions policy for major projects assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The state government reiterated its commitment to working with all sectors of the Western Australian economy towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This policy supports proponents of major new projects or project expansions that emit significant emissions, according to the state government.

It also supports those who are developing greenhouse gas management plans that detail their contribution towards achieving the state’s aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050.

This policy falls in line with the federal government’s target of reducing emissions by 28 per cent by 2030.

“Protecting and creating jobs is, and will always be, our number one priority,” WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said.

“Industry and the broader community have been calling for more guidance, and this aspiration provides the certainty needed for future major projects.”

The EPA is forming its own greenhouse gas guidelines, which welcome all public feedback until September 2.

The consultation aims to ensure the greenhouse gas guidance used in its assessments is reasonable and can be practically implemented by proponents, according to EPA chair Tom Hatton.

The EPA’s revised emissions guideline, which recommended offsets for project proposals with direct emissions above 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, sparked industry backlash earlier this year.

Woodside Energy chief operations Meg O’Neill has said the guidance could jeopardise major projects such as the company’s Browse, Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 development.

“Government will always respect the independence of the EPA,” Johnston said.

“The EPA has historically called for more clarity from government about its policy on greenhouse emissions – this (new) policy provides that clarity going forward.”

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