Media Releases - 04 September 2019

WA Government Climate Change Issues Paper Fails to Deliver

  • New Climate Change Issues Paper released today from the WA Government
  • This overview of climate change issues and opportunities in the state lacks any credible information on likely policy to be developed for release in 2020
  • Public comment sought by 29 November to guide policy development

The release of the WA Government’s long awaited Climate Change Issues Paper has been met with significant concern by The Wilderness Society in Western Australia. Released today by Minister for the Environment, Stephen Dawson, it offers little substance for critical review and tangible valuable insight for the community.

Acting State Director, Kit Sainsbury, commented: “The Climate Issues Paper, in its core context, is welcomed for review since it progresses the need for open dialogue on our climate future. However, it was disappointingly lacking in detail for critical analysis. The environmental advocacy movement has been waiting for this for some time since the announcement of the new climate policy development in December 2018. However, what has been presented is a significantly thin review of the current climate problems we see in Western Australia.

“It is disturbing to read that the Government willingly accepts that the State’s emissions are going to increase in the ‘short term’ due to the increase in the LNG sector amongst other fossil fuel extraction industry project developments. It therefore seems somewhat fanciful to promote a climate change policy, which intends to reduce emissions, whilst also supporting the development of new resource sector proposals which are going to send emissions up. This is defended through the ‘aspiration’ of net zero emissions by 2050, however, anyone can perceive this as a bit of a longbow.

“Despite the sector’s concern about the details proposed in the document, we naturally advocate for the community to offer significant engagement with the issue and use their consultation period to respond accordingly. The value of this timeline running until the end of November allows for robust debate on how we, as Western Australians, see the climate future for our state. 

“This will provide an important message to the State Government, as well as nationally, that climate change is a real and present danger to all and industry must reflect this. As a resource driven economy we have much work to do. However, this is counteracted by our enormous potential for renewable energy development and for a healthy, effective carbon market strategy.

“We feared this Issues Paper may be released today, when a Climate Emergency Bill is being debated in Parliament amongst all the parliamentary activity surrounding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. It is always concerning when we see this released on a day when it can be hidden behind competing stories since there is little to no fanfare to accompany it. Upon reviewing the document we can see why.”

Media Information: the Climate Issues Paper can be located here: 

For further comment contact Kit Sainsbury, Acting State Director, on 0894207255.