Common sense prevails over greenhouse emissions

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) has applauded the decision by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to withdraw its Environmental Factor Guidance - Greenhouse Gas Emissions today to allow for consultation with stakeholders. 

Premier Mark McGowan said he spoke with EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton after meeting with industry this morning, where they explained to him the real and immediate impacts of the guidelines and need for genuine consultation.

“The Premier was receptive this morning when we met with him and it’s good to know that he took industry’s concerns seriously. The decision to withdraw the guidelines and start consulting with all the relevant stakeholders on how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions in a practical and achievable way is a win for common sense,” said CME Chief Executive Officer, Paul Everingham.

“During the meeting industry was unanimous in telling the Premier and Ministers Dawson, Johnston and MacTiernan that there hadn’t been genuine consultation prior to the EPA releasing its guidelines and them coming into immediate effect.

“This decision also gives industry certainty when it comes to the viability of current and future projects as the guidance will no longer apply without notice to projects nearing their assessment process now place WA at a disadvantage compared to other States. The EPA was to start making environmental assessments under the new guidelines immediately, thankfully that won’t now happen.

“We agree with the Premier that greenhouse gas emissions need to be addressed at a national level through a consistent framework and that the Western Australian oil and gas sector, miners and manufacturers shouldn’t be expected to do all of the heavy lifting. There is a need to transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions but it can’t happen overnight. Industry is already adopting low emission technology and working towards the Paris Agreement in line with Australia’s commitments.”

“It is very clear from both the Premier and the EPA we all need to make our contribution to ensure the Paris Agreement is achieved. This consultation process will allow us and all other stakeholders to work together on how we collectively achieve this.”