Media Releases - 17 April 2020

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Guidance - flexibility allows wriggle room for big polluters

  • Major emitters are incapable of regulating themselves and will continue to apply a liberal interpretation to any ambiguity.
  • Approvals should not be granted for any project that increases net emissions.
  • Western Australians expect a response to climate change that meets or exceeds our international obligations.

Following the EPA’s release of the greenhouse gas emissions guidance, the Wilderness Society welcomes acknowledgement that the science of human-induced climate change is beyond question and that reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is a necessity.

“The EPA has received thousands of submissions from concerned Western Australians regarding greenhouse gas emissions,” WA Campaign Manager Patrick Gardner said.

“We have all watched in horror as the catastrophic bushfire season not only left an indelible imprint on our natural landscape, but also on our understanding of the relationship we have with nature.

“It is imperative that all governments act in the public’s interest to mitigate the accelerating impact of climate change.

“At the very least the public is demanding we meet or exceed our international obligations.”

The Wilderness Society remains concerned that the latest guidance from the EPA indicates a level of subjectivity that may be exploited by project proponents.

“While innovative practices to reduce emissions are broadly encouraged, we will be eternally vigilant over the interpretation of this guidance,” Mr Gardner said.

“The EPA has shifted in its position considerably from when this process started, therefore statements such as ‘case-by-case’ and ‘flexible approach’ are naturally a concern.

“Major emitters are not primarily motivated by environmental outcomes and their broader impact on the climate. 

“We maintain a firm belief that no projects should be approved that increase net emissions.

“Major emitters should bear the responsibility of offsetting their emissions, this should be an obligatory condition for every project.”

For further comment contact Patrick Gardner, WA Campaign Manager, on 0423 105 032.