The Western Australian Government’s announcement that it will legislate a net zero emissions by 2050 target is a welcome step, but proposed major gas projects in the state will undermine the goal, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

The details of the Bill, announced today by Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby, will be introduced to WA parliament this year, and will put the state on track to slash emissions in the coming decades.

Jess Panegyres, Head of Clean Transitions at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said while the move by the government was welcome, the continued expansion of the gas industry – including Woodside’s Burrup Hub project – are jeopardising the state’s clean future. 

“Greenpeace welcomes the plan to legislate the net zero by 2050 target and set five-yearly targets, but the state government needs an urgent plan to transition away from gas in order to meet these goals,” she said.

“This move brings WA in line with other states which have legislated net zero, and is important in creating policy certainty. WA has incredible opportunities in the clean energy economy – the biggest opportunities in Australia. However, the continued expansion of the gas industry is short-sighted and will undermine WA’s ability to meet this important goal.”

Ms Panegyres said the next urgent priority is a plan for the state’s orderly transition out of gas.

“Gas is a fossil fuel that drives dangerous climate change. The McGowan government has already vowed a transition away from coal by 2030, and now it’s time for Western Australia to move away from dirty gas projects, and make meaningful headway on their new and ambitious clean future targets,” she said.