New guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions welcomed

Nature Conservation Council
May 21st 2024
The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today welcomed new measures to address climate change in NSW planning decisions.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released new draft guidelines, which for the first time will require proponents of large-emitting projects to provide robust information and align their activities with the states legislated emissions reduction goals.
The government has also issued a Ministerial Statement, which empowers the planning system, including the Independent Planning Commission (IPC), to consider how a project will impact on the state’s emissions reduction targets, as well as alignment with the new Climate Change Act.
These measures follow recent government modelling which shows that NSW is not on track to meet its 2030 or 2035 targets without further enhanced action.
These controls put the operators of coal-fired generators on notice. Mines supplying coal to both Mt Piper and Vales Point power stations currently have applications in the planning system that will now have to explain how they will reduce emissions: Angus Place West, and the Chain Valley Colliery Consolidation.
Statements attributable to NCC Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Mumford
“These draft guidelines are a great step forward to ensure greenhouse pollution is appropriately assessed in the state planning system.
“The EPA’s guidelines will for the first time ensure transparency and consistency for emissions calculation and reporting. This is a welcome policy shift and is well overdue.
“The ultimate test for these guidelines will be whether they prevent new coal mines or mine expansions. Every new coal mine puts our climate goals further out of reach.
“These new guidelines send a clear message to industry: NSW is on a path to a clean energy, zero-emissions future.
“We welcome Minister Sharpe’s commitment to ‘double down’ on emissions reduction efforts following recent modeling showing we’re falling dangerously short of our targets.
“Power station operators, Energy Australia and Delta Electricity, should know that communities will hold the EPA to their word in applying these new guidelines to assessments of coal mines including Centennial Coal’s proposed Angus Place West project and Delta Coal’s Chain Valley Colliery expansion.
“It’s encouraging to see the EPA make it clear that offsets must be a last resort, establishing a clear hierarchy of actions for proponents to avoid, reduce or substitute emissions.”
Statement ends
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