Western Australian Climate Policy Unveiled

Western Australian Climate Policy

The McGowan Government released its long-awaited Western Australian Climate Policy yesterday afternoon – and not everyone is happy.

WA Minister for Environment Policy Stephen Dawson says the Policy draws together a number of climate change actions already in progress and sets out new commitments to support the Government’s vision of a resilient, low‑carbon future for the state.

“This policy demonstrates the State Government’s commitment to work with all sectors of the economy to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Minister Dawson.

WA’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 announced in 2019 is an aspirational target rather than legislated, and it doesn’t appear the McGowan Government has any intention of enshrining it in legalisation.

In terms of solar power, the Policy mentions close to one in three WA households have rooftop solar panels installed and this is expected to become one in two over the next decade. While feed-in tariffs in WA were recently slashed, what will help to continue driving uptake is the fact Perth has the lowest cost rooftop solar in the world – and Perth is home to more than three-quarters of the state’s population.

Electric Vehicle Strategy

Among the new actions in the Policy is the McGowan Government’s $21 million Electric Vehicle Strategy. It includes an initiative to construct an electric vehicle charging infrastructure network from Perth to Kununurra in the North, Esperance in the South and Kalgoorlie in the East.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly says this would see Western Australia home to one of the world’s longest electric vehicle charging infrastructure networks in a single state.

The State Government will also commit to a target of acquiring at least 25 per cent electric vehicles across “eligible vehicles” in the State fleet, and EV charging stations will be installed in government buildings. Additionally, the Strategy will also involve the development and updating of standards, guidelines, and requirements for planning approval, as well as raising consumer awareness and knowledge of EVs.

 “The global uptake of electric vehicles is one of the most exciting opportunities for Western Australia to create jobs and support economic growth the economy as part of the low-carbon transition,” said WA Premier Mark McGowan.

CCWA: Disappointing

The virtual ink of the policy hardly had time to dry before criticism started rolling in; particularly from the Conservation Council of WA – an organisation representing more than 100 community environmental organisations from across the state.

While acknowledging the policy contains some positive initiatives including the Electric Vehicle Strategy, these were seen as minor in comparison to those in other states. CCWA also expressed dismay at what it said was a failure in the policy to address growing emissions fuelled by WA’s gas industry.

Australian emissions trends by state

via CCWA (source not mentioned)

“The rest of Australia and our largest trading partners are striding ahead while WA risks being left behind with a policy that provides little certainty to how WA’s emissions will be reduced,” said Conservation Council of WA Director Piers Verstegen.

Mr. Verstegen said a report released last week titled Captured State exposes the extent of the influence of the gas lobby on the McGowan Government.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. The primary problem is that the WA state government is so cocky about winning the March 2021 state election, in a landslide victory, that the state government really does not care for, and, has shown absolute contempt for, the use of clean energy in Western Australia.

    What is conspicuous, is that the Western Australian state government is the only state/territory government in mainland Australia, that does not offer financial assistance for householders to get and use domestic rooftop photovoltaic systems with battery storage, instead, punishing us for using clean energy.

    And, it should be remembered, that this ALP state government is the fossil fuel party;

    ” it’s Western Australia’s reputation as a global liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub that will bring long-term economic benefits to the State.

    That’s according to WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, and Energy Bill Johnston who spoke to organisers of the Australasian Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition (AOG) ahead of his opening address on Wednesday 13 March.

    “We are blessed with an extraordinary natural endowment of mineral and petroleum resources,” he said.

    “Australia is on track to become the world’s largest LNG exporter, with Western Australia responsible for approximately 11% of global LNG.”

    Western Australia’s oil and gas sector was valued at $26.6 billion in 2017-18, an increase of 39% from $19.2 billion in 2016-17.

    “We are working with industry to build a healthy services sector and to promote Perth as a global oil and gas hub, similar to Houston and Aberdeen, which is the mandate of the McGowan Government’s LNG Jobs Taskforce,” Minister Johnston said.

    https://aogexpo.com.au/industry-supply/perth-is-a-global-oil-and-gas-hub-says-wa-mines-and-petroleum-minister/


    The onshore oil and gas industry needs to get the community behind fracking, the future of which in the State depends on the outcome of a McGowan Government inquiry, according to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston.

    The opponents of onshore oil and gas extraction were not telling the whole story, he said.

    https://thewest.com.au/business/oil-gas/industry-told-to-get-community-behind-fracking-ng-b88486657z

    “The WA Premier and three high-level ministers have met with gas companies and lobby groups nearly 140 times since Labor came to power in 2017.

    On seven occasions, the party received payments from the companies either on the day of the meeting or a short time later.

    The Captured State: The influence of the gas lobby on WA report from anti-fossil fuel activist group 350 Perth has revealed the extraordinary access gas companies and lobby groups have to ministers in charge of regulating the sector.

    The report paid special attention to the diaries of Premier Mark McGowan, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston, and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, comparing meeting dates with gas companies and lobbyists to electoral commission donation records.
    The findings have prompted accusations the closeness of the gas industry to the WA government was resulting in a slow response to climate change and limp efforts to hold the sector to account for its contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and on Aboriginal heritage issues.

    The ministerial diaries, obtained through freedom of information requests by 350 Perth, showed nearly 140 instances since 2017 where the Premier and ministers met with gas companies or lobby groups including the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA.

    Meeting purposes ranged from a vague “quick update” to a full-scale “urgent” roundtable discussion on March 14, 2019, between Mr McGowan, Mr Dawson and Mr Johnston with the main gas players about the Environmental Protection Authority’s controversial move to impose a zero-emissions limit on new gas projects.

    Some of the meetings took place over the phone, while others were held at Perth cafes.

    Anthony Collins, one of the report’s authors, said the most shocking findings were the number of times Woodside and Chevron met with Labor ministers, then donated to the party.

    On three occasions, Chevron sent thousands of dollars to the Labor party on the day of the meeting. The largest of these payments was $6600 payment made to WA Labor on August 29, 2017, the same day Chevron met with Alannah MacTiernan for an unknown reason.

    On four other occasions, Woodside and Chevron sent thousands to Labor just days after the companies met with ministers. On one occasion, Woodside transferred $6600 to WA Labor five days after a meeting with Mr Johnston regarding an ‘overview of Burrup Hub developments’, and the day before the company met with Mr Dawson.

    The Labor party runs the cash for access ‘Labor business roundtable’ and businesses purchasing tickets to it or other related roundtable meetings or lunches would need to be declared to the Australian Electoral Commission.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/too-close-to-the-flame-wa-government-accused-of-being-limp-on-climate-change-after-revolving-doors-with-oil-and-gas-giants-20201124-p56hi4.html

    This WA state government, like its parent company, the feral LNP government, is all about destroying the environment, to make their fossil fuel company mates, filthy rich.

    And, here, the filthy rich, involves getting rich by spreading filth.

    And, our local ALP feral member is the ALP fossil fuel agent – his appointed role, is to advocate for WA fossil fuel producers, against the interests of his constituents – after all, he is a founding member of the ALP fossil fuel lobby group – the Otis group, in which, WA ALP feral members have a disproportionately large membership

    Oh, yes, we have seen the WA state government climate policy – it is the same as the feral ALP party, and its parent company – the LNP feral government’s climate policy, and, their mutual, general policy – do as much harm as possible, while pillaging the plebs.

  2. Oh, and, …


    “Maintaining our support of the state’s mining and petroleum industries is a key part of the government’s recovery plan to keep Western Australia in a strong economic position.”

    Johnston said that 2019/20 also represented the first year-on-year increase in mining and petroleum investment since the 2012-13 iron-ore and liquefied natural gas boom, noting that there were currently more than A$100-billion worth of projects in the pipeline.

    “Total royalty revenue received by the Western Australian government for 2019/20 reached a record high of A$9.29-billion, a 42% increase on the previous financial year.
    “This contribution is a lifeblood of the Western Australian economy

    Ah, yes, the WA ALP state government climate policy – produce increasingly more fossil fuels.

  3. Geoff Miell says

    The post above states:
    “WA’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 announced in 2019 is an aspirational target rather than legislated, and it doesn’t appear the McGowan Government has any intention of enshrining it in legalisation.”

    I’d suggest, in other words, the McGowan Government is contributing in part to facilitating human civilisation collapse and the increasing suffering and destruction of WA residents’ lives and livelihoods in the coming decades. Perhaps the McGowan Government is not intending to do this, one would hope, but the Laws of Physics override ill-informed politics, ineffective policy and bad ideologies every time.

    The latest climate science I see indicates that the goal (or aspiration, or whatever you wish to call it) of “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” is TOO LATE to avoid catastrophic climate change.
    See my comment at: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/biden-climate-renewable-energy-mb1753/#comment-865667

    1.5 °C warming (relative to pre-industrial age) will likely be reached before 2030, no matter what we do. It’s looking more and more certain that warming will overshoot 2.0 °C. So, we will likely fail to meet the goals of Paris.

    In the YouTube video titled “Keynote Debate Can the Climate Emergency Action Plan lead to Collective Action? (50 Years CoR)”, Professor H.J. Schellnhuber CBE said in 2018 (from time interval 0:46:57):

    “So, this is just in order to underpin some of the things. And looking forward, I mean, I excuse for… I apologise for that, but… we have actually ended the ice age cycle, the, er… the glacial dynamics for good, or for bad, or for whatever – that’s how it is. But your question is of course extremely important, because… I… I once coined… We had a meeting at the Belgian Academy of Sciences and I coined this expression, which became quite… quite, er… sort of seminal, actually: ‘Avoiding the unmanageable and managing the unavoidable.’ So you see, avoiding the unmanageable would be three, four, five, six degrees. I’m, I’m pretty sure we cannot adapt to that. But if the world warms by one… it has warmed already by one degree, and actually half of a degree is masked by air pollution. So if you would clean the air over China and India and so on, you immediately would… you get another half degree. So, one-and-a-half degree – we are there already, ja? But if we stop it at two, er… two-point-five degrees maybe… and actually CO2 stays within the carbon cycle for more than twenty-thousand years. People think this is a matter of a hundred years. Yes, it goes into the sediment, but it’s re-mineralised and goes back into the air, and so on. So it’s longer lived than plutonium, actually, ja? Atmospheric CO2!”
    See/hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK2XLeGmHtE

    The longer we/humanity delay rapidly reducing human-induced GHG emissions from NOW on, the more ambitious we would need to be for every year of delay. If emissions are not rapidly declining by the second half of this decade, it will likely be too late to avoid catastrophic climate change (+3.0 °C warming above pre-industrial, or more) – what we/humanity do (or not do) within the first half of this decade will likely decide human civilisation’s fate.

  4. It is unfortunate that the two posts that I submitted this morning, are blocked by the pro-ALP blog administrators in their election campaigning for the ALP.

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