State goes it alone on cli­mate change

Midwest Times - - OPINION/ NEWS - Tom Zaun­mayr

Green groups have wel­comed the State Gov­ern­ment’s in­ten­tion to de­velop its own cli­mate change pol­icy in the face of on­go­ing un­cer­tainty at Fed­eral level.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Stephen Daw­son an­nounced last week 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 im­pact­ing WA.

Mr Daw­son said the State Gov­ern­ment could do more to re­duce the 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 Met- ropoli­tan Re­gion Tim Clif­ford said the pol­icy was wel­comed; how­ever, WA’s emis­sions lev­els would likely be neg­a­tively af­fected 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.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The WA Gov­ern­ment is de­vel­op­ing a cli­mate pol­icy.

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