Bushfire survivors welcome the release of the NSW EPA’s new greenhouse gas rules

BSCA

BUSHFIRE SURVIVORS FOR CLIMATE ACTION (BSCA) commends the NSW Environment Protection Authority on the release of its draft Climate Change Assessment Requirements and draft Guide for Large Emitters, originally scheduled for earlier this year.

The new Requirements were developed by the EPA as the next step in its Climate Change Action Plan 2023–26. They aim to ensure that information on greenhouse gas emissions for new projects is more complete than previously required and is provided to authorities as part of the planning and approval process for large emissions producing projects. The draft Assessment Requirements and Guide are posted on the NSW EPA website and are open to public consultation until July 1, 2024.

This work is a result of landmark court action taken by BSCA in 2021, resulting in a requirement for the NSW EPA to address climate change. As a result, last year the NSW EPA was the first such agency in the country to introduce a climate policy and action plan.

“BSCA is pleased to see the NSW EPA taking active steps on climate. Although later than anticipated, these documents bring welcome progress and position NSW well among Australian governments on environmental assessment around the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change,” said BSCA CEO Serena Joyner.

“The new rules give developers clear guidance on how to account for and minimise their emissions, and how they can contribute to getting NSW towards net zero emissions by 2050. This is good for industry and good for the community.”

“But while this is a step in the right direction, the science tells us that we need to do even more,” Ms Joyner said. “Our members – and members of all communities that have been hit hard by floods, fires, heat and sea level rise made worse by climate change – know just how real climate change is already, and they know what’s at stake.”

“To keep Australian communities safe, we need even more of the kind of work demonstrated by the NSW EPA this week. We’re urgently looking forward to seeing industry-specific emissions reduction targets and how this will translate into licenses. And, while we look forward to seeing tangible emissions reduction from new and expanded projects in NSW, we also hope to see federal environment reforms soon that take a serious approach to assessing the climate impacts of proposals at the federal level.”

/Public Release.