The McGowan Government setting a strong emissions reduction target of 80% by 2030 for state government agencies is a welcome step in the state’s renewable energy transition, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

McGowan’s power move, which covers state owned utilities such as railways, vehicle fleets, hospitals and schools, follows Western Australia’s announcement last week that its last coal-burning power station would close by 2030.

Jess Panegyres, Head of Clean Transitions at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said stronger near-term climate targets put Western Australia out in front of the country’s energy transition, but that more work needs to be done on the transition away from gas.

“Western Australia has powered ahead with its clean energy transition plans over the past week, with strong emissions reduction and coal-closure announcements that will make a big dent in the state’s emissions and create good clean energy jobs along the way,” she said.

“Western Australia is particularly vulnerable to worsening climate change, as we saw from this summer’s extreme heat and bushfires. It’s heartening to see the state government step up to protect West Australians from dangerous climate impacts by committing to strongly reduce emissions across state owned-utilities over the next few years.”

“As part of this ambitious climate agenda, we also need the McGowan Government to get serious about reducing the role of gas, a dangerous fossil fuel that’s driving climate change. With projects like Woodside’s proposed Scarborough and Browse gas fields set to release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution over the course of their operation, Western Australia’s gas industry undermines the state’s climate targets and impedes the clean energy transition.”

“It’s time for Western Australia to fully embrace the renewable energy transition, and leave polluting fossil fuels in the past. As the windiest, sunniest state in Australia, we’re poised to become a renewable superpower.”

Western Australia has become the focus for ambitious clean energy investment in Australia, with a number of large-scale renewable energy projects, including the vast Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara attracting major international investor interest.