In December 2019 ClimateWorks took the opportunity to respond to the Government of Western Australia’s Climate change in Western Australia Issues paperSeptember 2019.

The Issues paper noted that Western Australia is responsible for 17 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The ClimateWorks submissions stats that with support and action from government, industry and the community, Western Australia is well placed to benefit from the economic opportunities the global transition to net zero emissions presents.

The state has a formidable clean energy resource base, high quality mineral deposits (such as lithium and cobalt used in battery manufacturing) and established expertise in exporting critical energy and material resources.

The submission addresses the following key points:

  • ClimateWorks recommends that Western Australia introduces a Climate Change Act.
  • Western Australia has the potential to become a centre for zero emissions industry, making the most out of its natural resources especially in renewable energy.
  • Western Australia has a timely opportunity to embed the state’s net zero goal into infrastructure processes currently underway.
  • Rapidly transitioning to an electricity sector fully supplied by renewable energy and storage is crucial for Western Australia to meet its economy wide net zero emissions goal.
  • Many climate solutions in the transport sector (for example, policies and targets, investment in public and rail freight transport infrastructure, and electric vehicle fleet procurement processes) require short-term action in order to unlock transport emissions reductions in the longer term.
  • ClimateWorks supports the proposed strengthening of the National Construction Code and recommends the trajectory be improved to cover all energy use influenced by buildings.
  • Sustainable food and land use practices will be a key consideration for Western Australia’s transition to net zero emissions
  • The state is one of the few places in the world where vast renewable energy potential and extensive land area occurs in the same place as major mineral resources and an established minerals and energy export sector.

The report highlights that industry-led pathways to net zero emissions can support Western Australia’s economy and its people.

Industry-led pathways to net zero emissions can identify market opportunities and plan ahead to ensure Western Australia’s economy and society benefits from the global transition to net zero emissions, with flow on benefits in terms of new industries, local investment and jobs.