New draft EPA guideline provides way forward for merits-based greenhouse gas assessments

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) has welcomed the new draft guideline released today by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said CME’s members appreciated the public consultation process that led to the draft, particularly as greenhouse gas emissions is a complex policy and regulatory area.

“Today’s draft guideline clearly acknowledges the need to assess new proposals on a case by case basis on their merits, which is something CME advocated for in our submission earlier this year,” he said.

“We are pleased to see the draft guidance acknowledges the State’s Policy for Major Projects released in August 2019 and seeks to maintain consistency with this. CME maintains that the most efficient path to emissions reduction is through a nationally consistent approach which drives lowest cost abatement.

“The guidance also accepts that climate change policy and associated technological developments and innovation are rapidly changing and better accommodates an adaptive approach in today’s draft than in the March version.”

Mr Everingham said CME, as a member of the EPA’s Stakeholder Reference Group, will work on its response to the draft to enable the EPA to meet its intended March 2020 finalisation date.

“It is essential that we remain a key player in ongoing discussions around the guideline as the WA resources sector will play a critical role in the transition towards a lower emissions global future,” he said.

“This will be achieved through the provision of cleaner fuels such as gas and hydrogen as well as minerals that are essential for batteries, increased electrification and renewables. We are also now home to the world’s largest at scale, industrial reinjection scheme.

“WA has a competitive advantage due to our wealth of mineral and energy resources. We must ensure that our regulatory framework allows our resources sector to remain competitive and innovative.”