RenewWA signatories make the below statement and call for climate action in WA:
Western Australia has enormous potential to benefit from the transition to a clean, renewable energy powered economy.
Climate action, including requirements for WA’s largest polluters to offset greenhouse gas emissions, has the potential to deliver thousands of new jobs across regional Western Australia and Aboriginal communities in carbon farming, tree planting, Indigenous Ranger programs, renewable energy and other industries. With rich renewable energy resources, abundant supplies of battery metals and potential to generate renewable-derived Hydrogen for export, WA has a bright future ahead if the benefits of a clean energy economy are supported by strong government action on climate change.
This is our opportunity to transition to a renewable energy economy with reliable, quality jobs for Western Australian workers and maintain a safe climate for all.
Despite these opportunities, WA remains one of only two states in Australia with no renewable energy target, and the only state with significant growth in carbon pollution. The failure to control pollution from the WA Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry is responsible for Australia’s national emissions growth and is putting Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change at risk.
RenewWA welcomes the State Government’s recent announcement committing to net zero emissions by 2050. To ensure that this target is achieved and aligns with the guidance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), interim targets are also required.
It is clear that the Australian Government is not providing effective or comprehensive climate change policy solutions at a national level and WA is missing out on the renewables boom while its LNG resources continue to be extracted with minimal benefit back to the community.
RenewWA organisations believe it is essential that the State Government lead action to control WA’s rising carbon pollution through a whole of government, whole of economy and whole of community approach.
The members of RenewWA call for immediate action on climate change by the State Government for the sake of workers, communities and future generations, which must include the following essential elements:
- Just Transition: Support for workers and communities to transition from fossil fuel industries so that we leave nobody behind. Greater investment is needed in alternative industries to provide paid training and skills development for workers to move without disadvantage into reliable, quality local jobs and to take advantage of our abundant renewable energy resources and high-skilled workforce.
- Immediate reduction of carbon pollution: The Paris Agreement demands an immediate reduction in carbon pollution, and this is a critical goal that must be reflected in WA Government climate change policy.
- Science-based targets for WA: Science-based carbon pollution reduction targets must be adopted for WA in order to ensure that our state makes a fair and equitable contribution to global climate change efforts, consistent with the Paris Agreement. Interim targets must be adopted to achieve the global need to reduce carbon pollution to net zero emissions by 2050.
- Controls on LNG pollution: Requiring existing LNG projects to reduce and offset emissions is an essential first step in controlling WA’s emissions growth and delivering new jobs in clean industries in regional WA communities. LNG developments must be required to offset all pollution as recommended by WA’s independent Environmental Protection Authority and offsets must be made with local projects.
- A Just Transition away from gas extraction: Gas as a fossil fuel contributes significantly to climate change and a just transition away from gas extraction is needed. Recent reports have identified that the threat to the climate from LNG expansion is as great as, or greater than coal. The IPCC has identified the median near-term reduction for natural gas use as 15% by 2030 and 43% by 2050 in order to meet the temperature goals established under the Paris Agreement.
- Protecting and increasing natural carbon stores: Action is needed to rapidly reduce logging and land clearing to protect natural carbon stores and support natural carbon sequestration and habitat including revegetation, ecosystem restoration and tree-farming. Support is required for regenerative agriculture and community driven land care and natural resource management.
- Supporting vulnerable households and communities: Low-income households, older people and people with poorer health are particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of heatwaves and rising temperatures. Access to low-cost energy from residential solar, batteries or energy-efficient appliances is currently out of reach for many, especially if they don’t own their own home. Investment in schemes to provide access to affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency measures needs to be prioritised, including in regional and remote areas.
Renew WA Signatories:
Anglican EcoCare Commission, Anglican Diocese of Perth
Alternative Technology Association, trading as Renew Australia
Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
Buddhist Council WA
BUMP (Ban Uranium Mining Permanently)
Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
Catholic EarthCare Australia
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Climate Justice Union
Community Legal WA
Conservation Council WA
Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute
Doctors for Environment Australia (DEA)
Ethical Advisors Co-op
Farmers for Climate Action
Islamic Council WA
Justice, Ecology & Development Office, Catholic Archdiocese Perth
Murdoch University Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability
Nuclear Free WA
Public Health Association of Australia
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia
Save Beeliar Wetlands
Sustainable Energy Now
The Wilderness Society
Uniting Church in Western Australia
WA Council of Social Services
WA Landcare Network