WA to go it alone on climate policy
Green groups have welcomed the State Government’s intention to develop its own climate change policy in the face of ongoing uncertainty at a Federallevel.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced on Wednesday a State climate policy would be developed to build on existing renewable energy, water supply, electric vehicle and carbon sequestration strategies.
The State Government pointed to habitat destruction and reduced rainfall in the South West, coastal erosion, bushfires, disease and the energy-intensive resources sector as key factors having an impact on WA.
Mr Dawson said the State Government could do more to reduce risk, impact and cost of climate change.
“Many climate change issues are already being addressed by State agencies, industry and the community, but we can all do better,” he said.
“The ongoing uncertainty at the national level has made it challenging for States and Territories to develop a considered response to climate change.
“But there are measures we can take to ensure Western Australia is well-positioned in the face of rapid technological change and a changing climate whatever the position of the Commonwealth Government.”
Greens member for the East Metropolitan Region Tim Clifford said the policy was welcomed, however WA’s emissions levels would likely be negatively impacted by fracking.
“We are yet to see the details so I am hoping there will be concrete targets in regards to reducing emissions,” he said.
“On the one hand we may lower emissions through a climate policy and promoting renewables but on the other hand we have an area the size of Tasmania that is going to fracked and we don’t know how many emissions are going to come out of those gas wells.”
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s climate change unit will co-ordinate the new policy over the next 12 months.
The WA Government is developing a climate policy.