CLIMATE CHANGE & ENERGY

The Greens (WA) commit to immediate, strong and sustained action on climate change by reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases and putting in place strategies to help us adapt to damaging changes in the climate system that are irreversible.

We have abundant renewable energy resources in Western Australia, and significant technological and entrepreneurial capacities. The Greens (WA) are working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while building new and prosperous industries in a clean energy economy.

Aims
The Greens (WA) want:

  • secure, reliable and diverse energy supplies
  • a safe climate, requiring a return to an atmospheric concentration of 350ppm or lower of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CO2 equivalents)
  • a transition, within this generation, to a low carbon economy based on renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • polluter-pays principle applied to all major emitters of greenhouse gases
  • Western Australia to be a leader in renewable energy and low carbon technology research, innovation and commercial development
  • an equitable and progressive distribution of the costs of reducing greenhouse emissions and adapting to climate change

Measures
Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

Institutional reform

  • include a well-resourced and high capacity Climate Change Office with whole-of-government responsibility for the equally weighted priorities of mitigation, adaptation and climate change communication; policy, strategy and funding
  • ensure each government agency develops a climate change strategy
  • develop a long-term State Energy Strategy including resource audits, transition planning and regulatory reform
  • develop a long-term, overarching State Climate Change Strategy including robust emissions reduction targets and taking into account mitigation and adaptation planning for each sector, transition planning and regulatory reform

Energy Efficiency

  • support community engagement in emissions reduction actions, including household renewable technology options, energy efficiency measures, energy auditing and carbon offsetting programs
  • establish mandatory energy efficiency audits for major energy users, with compulsory implementation of energy management plans to progressively cut greenhouse emissions
  • increase minimum requirements for energy and water use efficiency in new buildings and provide incentives to exceed these minimum requirements
  • increase incentives and subsidies for substantial retrofit to existing building stock designed to encourage energy and water efficiency
  • require new homes to have high standards of energy and water efficiency built in at design stage (see The Greens (WA) Housing policy and also the Australian Greens Housing policy)
  • require mandatory water and energy efficiency disclosure of residential and commercial property prior to sale or lease (see also The Greens (WA) Water Resources policy)

Renewable Energy  - (see also Energy 2029)

  • commission the Independent Market Operator (IMO) to undertake a planning study for 2029 and 2040 100% renewable energy scenarios for the Western Australian electricity market
  • implement Full Retail Contestability1 in the Western Australian electricity market while maintaining state ownership and maintenance of distribution networks
  • reform electricity market access arrangements to allow maximum possible participation by renewable energy suppliers, and work to harmonise these arrangements with a national open-access regime
  • establish a feed-in tariff scheme, to provide long-term, guaranteed prices for prospective renewable energy supply technologies until they no longer require such assistance
  • establish, in consultation with local communities, Renewable Energy Development Zones with streamlined processes for planning approvals and electricity network connections for utility-scale renewable energy plants
  • end direct and indirect subsidies to fossil fuel energy sources and promote development of long-term, efficient and renewable energy technologies
  • oppose any new coal-fired power stations or coal mines, and any expansions to any existing power stations or mines, while supporting the development of programs to assist coal dependent communities to transition to other more sustainable sources of economic prosperity
  • ban new Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) developments unless the proponent demonstrate they can capture and store the bulk of the wellfield CO2, while supporting the development of programs to assist LNG dependent communities to transition to other more sustainable sources of economic prosperity

Transport (see also The Greens (WA) Transport policy)

  • fund the expansion and improvement of the public transport system, including an urban light rail system for Perth.
  • tie stamp duty relief and licence fees to fuel efficiency for all vehicles.
  • quickly complete the Perth Bicycle Network, and extend such networks in regional communities.
  • facilitate the provision of appropriate charging infrastructure to stimulate the rapidly expanded uptake of Electric Vehicles into the Western Australian transport system.
  • prioritise freight rail investments and intermodal facilities to rapidly increase freight volumes on rail relative to road transport

Adaptation

A long-term, overarching State Climate Change Strategy including robust emissions reduction targets and taking into account mitigation and adaptation planning for each sector, transition planning and regulatory reform.  (See also The Greens (WA) Sustainable Settlements policy)

  • support the passage of an equivalent Bill to the Greens' Climate Change Readiness (Coastal Planning and Protection) Bill 2012 (See also The Greens (WA) Sustainable Settlements policy)
  • review planning policies and building code standards to ensure an appropriate adaptation response.
  • review emergency plans and disaster management preparedness in anticipation of more extreme weather events

Land use

  • support the establishment of a dedicated cellulosic biomass2 energy industry that is part of a landscape repair strategy, excluding use of prime agricultural land and use of biomass from native forests
  • support the establishment of a dedicated algal biomass energy industry, targeting only areas not currently in use for dedicated food production
  • develop a revolving fund to revegetate marginal / degraded agricultural land with suitable local species, with the aim of sequestering carbon, reducing salinity, and establishing self-sustaining plantation and biomass industries (See also the Greens (WA) Agriculture and Plantations policies)
  • fund projects which aim to restore ecological connectivity across the landscape in order to maintain ecological health and avoid species extinctions from climate change
  • assess climate change implications for agriculture and develop strategies to support farmers to adapt to a rapidly changing climate

(See also the Australian Greens Climate Change and Energy policy)

Glossary

  1. Full Retail Contestability – an open market for the retail provision of electricity throughout the state, at all scales.
  2. cellulosic biomass - biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants.
Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region (2009-2017)
Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia