Premier slams WA EPA
WA Premier Mark McGowan has attacked the state's EPA over new emissions guidelines.
The WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has issued new guidelines that require new projects or expansions of existing projects that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to fully offset those emissions within a year.
The measure is expected to eat into the profits of the projects and drive down the state's emissions output.
EPA chairman Tom Hatton said while the Federal Government has not been doing enough for Australia to meet its Paris agreement targets.
“WA is the only Australian jurisdiction to have experienced a substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2016, with the state's emissions increasing by 27 per cent over this period,” he said.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has moved to distance himself from the agency.
He went to lengths to make it clear that the new guidelines were not State Government policy.
“We are not endorsing what they have done,” Mr McGowan told reporters.
“I am concerned that the EPA has gone a bit far here … but I do acknowledge their point that there needs to be a national solution to this issue.
“We will work with individual projects about offsetting opportunities.”
Mr McGowan kicked the issue of combating climate change back up to the national level.
“So you have a consistent approach across Australia and a consistent approach across projects,” he said.
“To just apply this to LNG projects means of course the massive coal exporters in Queensland and NSW get off scot-free whilst the LNG projects, which produce half the emissions of coal from Queensland or NSW, are penalised.”
WA’s mining lobby agrees with the Premier, saying the new measures would cost the state billions.