WA’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has opened its draft Greenhouse Gas Guideline to public consultation until Wednesday 21 September 2022.
This Guideline will be used by the EPA to assess any proposed and existing fossil fuel projects. This public consultation period is therefore one of our best chances to strengthen the regulation of WA’s most polluting industry – the gas industry – and to make it more difficult for new gas projects to get approved.
Download information for your submission here
We know that this is the decisive decade for climate action. We cannot afford to have another weak greenhouse gas policy which gives fossil fuel companies the freedom to make vague climate commitments in the distant future, and allows for the approval of massive climate-wrecking gas projects.
What we need instead is a rigorous greenhouse gas policy based on the best climate science, which will drive strong and immediate action to bring down gas pollution in our state.
If there are thousands of submissions made by the WA public calling on the EPA to hold the gas industry accountable for their pollution and take climate science seriously, then the EPA will need to take public concerns into consideration when updating the policy.
What is the EPA?
The role of the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is to provide independent advice to the Western Australian government. The EPA’s legal role is to protect the environment and to prevent, control and reduce pollution, and its policies and procedures must show a science-based approach.
One of the most important jobs of the EPA is to do Environmental Impact Assessments of major projects. This involves providing advice to the government on whether large projects are environmentally acceptable (should go ahead) and what conditions or rules should be given to manage environmental impacts.
The EPA can also review conditions that apply to existing projects when such reviews are requested by proponents or the Minister for the Environment.
What is the policy we are trying to influence?
The ‘Environmental Factor Guideline – Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ is a policy guideline that the EPA will use when assessing the climate change impacts of new projects, and for reviewing existing projects. Its objective is ‘to minimise the risk of environmental harm associated with climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as far as practicable.’
You can read the current and first version from April 2020 here, and the draft revised version here.
What should we be asking for?
You can formulate your own arguments based on your personal concerns and knowledge. Many organisations will have their own guide to make a submission, but the overall recommendations from the Conservation Council of WA will be that the EPA Greenhouse Gas Guideline must:
- Reflect the science (require immediate and rapid emissions reduction)
- Prevent new or expanded fossil fuel production
- Require net zero emissions for all polluters immediately (not by 2050)
- Apply to all polluters and account for all pollution
- Apply a mitigation hierarchy (abate and mitigate first) and require certified pollution offsets that benefit Western Australia
A handy submission writing guide is available here for you to make a powerful submission of your own.
How can I get involved?
Make a submission before Wednesday the 21st of September 2022!
You can also join the Conservation Council of WA for a submission writing workshop on Sunday 18 September 2022.
Thank you for taking action for our climate.