“The EPA’s revised guidelines are in complete opposition to the action that WA needs to be taking on the climate crisis.
“Rather than require all new and expanding projects to fully offset emissions, the revised guidelines have fallen in line with the McGowan Government’s greenhouse gas policy which fails to set any hard targets for emissions reduction.
“Much like the greenhouse gas policy, the EPA’s revised guidelines allow proponents to set their own emissions reduction targets and decide what contribution they are willing to make towards the State’s net-zero emissions by 2050 aspiration.
“Given the backlash by industry and the reprehensible backlash by the Premier when the original guidelines were released in March, I am highly concerned that the EPA has had undue pressure applied to create favourable guidelines for industry.
“This pressure creates deep ramifications for the independence of the EPA and the future of science-based policy in WA.
“As the world moves towards zero-carbon economies, WA must follow suit, the removal of the residual emission offset requirement means WA is missing out on taking advantage of the clean careers that are available. Instead, WA is being locked into relying on the volatile resource sector which is likely to become a stranded asset as the world moves forward in the zero carbon transition.
“The EPA was pressured to withdraw the guidelines in favour of further consultation. Despite more than 98% of the almost 7000 public submissions supporting stronger regulations for big polluters, this is not reflected in the revised guidelines.
“These submissions were made by scientists, experts, academics, mothers, fathers, grandparents and everyday people concerned for our future. This cannot be ignored.
“We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and action must be taken”