The target of Western Australia (WA) to reach net zero emissions by 2050 is expected to be preserved formally in law, along with a commitment to reduce emissions from the public sector by 80% by the end of the decade.
The legislation is expected to be introduced in Parliament this year, with Reece Whitby, the Climate Action Minister tagging the race to slash greenhouse gas emissions for averting catastrophic global warming, one of the leading challenges of a lifetime.
Under this bill, the statutory requirement for setting five-yearly interim emissions targets applicable to the entire economy and government, will also be introduced.
Recently, Mr Whitby also announced the McGowan Government’s decision to introduce the new laws, including a clause mandating the Climate Action Minister to report to Parliament annually on the state’s advancement toward reduction targets.
By 2050, they plan to make WA the third state after Victoria and Tasmania to pass legislation requiring net zero emissions.
Apparently, the move follows the law passed by the Albanese government last year to formalize a national commitment for net zero emissions by 2050.
Mr. Whitby added that climate change is one of the biggest challenges of today’s time, and thus requires decisive action. Whitby added that this new legislation would assist in accelerating the transformation to become a net zero emissions country in a responsible and achievable way.
Reportedly, the legislation sends a powerful message about the objectives and direction of the government. This includes the pledge to reduce emissions from the state government by 80% by 2030. This will ultimately lower costs for businesses by helping to unlock crucial investments in clean energy infrastructure and technologies.
Moreover, the McGowan government committed to targeting net zero emissions in August 2019. After two years, in the latter half of 2021, Premier Mark McGowan unveiled that Cabinet was evaluating enshrining the goal in law.