Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia

WESTERN Australian climate campaigners are gearing up to fight Woodside’s North West Shelf plans and have called on Chevron’s Gorgon project to be shut down, ahead of the next state election to be held in March next year.
Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia Plans afoot to introduce a Climate Change Act in Western Australia

Rally at WA Parliament House calls on a Climate Change Act to be introduced.

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

 

Today, the state parliament will debate a landmark Bill that if successful would install a 2040 zero emissions target. The Bill was introduced by Greens MP Tim Clifford and is expected to fail as it does not have support of government or the opposition.

Currently the Labor government has a 2050 net zero ‘ambition'. 

The Bill would establish a Climate Change Act and an independent advisory council to act as a new watchdog over future oil and gas projects. Another part of the legislation would require the government to establish a climate change strategy which would be reviewed on a five-yearly basis.

It comes as the Labor McGowan government looks to release its own climate change policy in coming weeks.

However, Clifford is sceptical of the premier's "aspirational" net zero emissions target and said that his own Bill was better than because it would ensure "current and successive governments take action."

Clifford noted that the WA government had promised a renewable energy target prior to the last election, but that in weeks ahead of the polls had backed away from its platform. 

"Let me be clear: setting hard, legislated targets will not only signal that this Parliament takes its climate responsibility seriously, but also create certainty for affected industries and for companies looking to invest in renewable energy and clean technologies," Clifford said. 

However, it appears Clifford's Bill is not supported by the left faction of his own party, or fellow activists, including their base Extinction Rebellion.

Speaking at a rally outside Parliament House this morning, Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and former Greens MP and party heavyweight, Lynn MacLaren said the Bill did not go far enough with a net zero target of 2040.

Extinction Rebellion, which have run large scale campaigns in Perth over the past year support a 2025 or 2030 net zero target.

MacLaren also called on the government to stop Woodside's plans for the Browse and Scarborough developments.

"We urge support for this Bill but it does not go far enough. We need climate action now and a target, aspirational or not, of net zero emissions in 2040 is not acceptable," she told a rally of 500 people outside Parliament.

"No new gas developments. No new Woodside developments. Close down Gorgon. The world is burning."

MacLaren said the Bill would actually do the opposite of what it was designed for and would allow the state government not to act on climate change for another decade.

Outside parliament there were a small group of Extinction Rebellion members who are undertaking a protest by starving themselves. As of Thursday, they had not eaten for seven days.

 

 

Most read MARKETS