We’re not sure what the Western Australia Environmental Protection Agency was thinking. Or even if they were thinking at all when they ruled that all new emissions-intensive projects should be carbon neutral.
But we know federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the federal government’s most senior member from WA, thinks the state’s EPA has lost the plot here.
On Thursday, the WA Environmental Protection Agency announced updated guidelines regarding mitigating emission from new or expanding projects, according to AAP.
These new guidelines recommend that the state government necessitate proposals with emissions more than 100,000 tonnes a year be completely offset.
‘Over the past two decades the EPA has recommended greenhouse gas abatement measures for around 40 proposals however more needs to be done to limit global warming, consistent with the Paris Agreement,’ agency chair Tom Hatton said.
Updated guidelines could hurt WA’s economy
However, Senator Cormann believes that if the state takes on the recommendation, it would only hurt their economy.
‘It’s a crazy ruling,’ the West Australian senator told Sky News.
‘In fact, it would hurt the environment to the extent that it would make it harder for West Australian LNG to help reduce emissions around the world.’
According to The Australian Financial Review (AFR), the recommendation may jeopardise over $45 billion of new LNG projects.
The senator has urged the state government to reject the guidelines, AAP reports.
‘We’ve had some weasel words but we certainly haven’t had a sufficiently clear statement from the state government here in Western Australia to say that they are opposed to this,’ he said.
WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson stated to the AFR that the guidelines were not policy. He also said that the government would consult widely, which includes the LNG industry, when mounting their response.
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