WA Government announces EPA withdrawal on climate policy

The Premier Mark McGowan has today announced that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has withdrawn their Air Quality Guidance which required the state’s biggest polluters to avoid, reduce and offset their emissions.

Only hours after hosting a round-table discussion with WA LNG companies and peak industry representatives, Premier Mark McGowan announced the sudden withdrawal of the EPA’s policy, published last week.

Clean State campaign manager Ms Kate Kelly said,

“The policy withdrawal is extremely disappointing given its moderate aims which only sought to offset production emissions and did not include end use pollution.

“Western Australia has an opportunity to stimulate significant employment in industries that can reduce pollution, such as the renewable energy and carbon farming industries to counter the runaway emissions from these projects. We need action on climate change now, our kids cannot wait, we cannot wait.”

Clean State polling shows that nearly 80% of Western Australians want action on climate change and believe that WA gas polluters should be regulated to offset their emissions. The Clean State campaign has collected the signatures of over 5,000 people who support the policy released by the EPA last week.

The pollution from the LNG industry in WA is a major driver in Australia’s emissions growth, with WA’s emissions rising by a staggering 27% between 2000 and 2016.

For as little as 2% of their profits Chevron could be making their pollution carbon ‘neutral’ according to Chevron’s own publicly reported emissions capacity.

Clean State released independent analysis from RepuTex Energy, revealing 4,000 new jobs would be created in land management, renewable energy and clean industries if the state government acted on requiring WA’s largest polluters to offset emissions.

“There is still an opportunity to capture significant employment and economic benefits for WA. 

Now, more than ever it is time to listen to the needs of our state and plan for a better future” Ms Kelly said.

Clean State will be supporting students in the school strike for climate action on Friday 15 March at St George’s Cathedral from 11am.