Net Zero Plan

Net Zero Plan

Despite an urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the planning system continues to facilitate new and expanded emissions intensive coal mines because it is bounded by a pro-coal policy released by John Barilaro when he was minister. When the parliament approved new climate change laws late last year, I worked with the government to make it clear that the laws are a policy that the planning system should consider, however, recent decisions by the Independent Planning Commission indicate that because subordinate legislation for the laws is still being established, Barilaro’s Strategic Statement on Coal remains the superior policy for planning considerations.

Recent information from the Environment Protection Agency shows that if all coal projects in the pipeline are approved, New South Wales will not meet its modest legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets. I joined progressive independents Michael Regan, Greg Piper, Judy Hannan and Joe McGirr to call on the government to withdraw the pro-coal statement and ensure planning decisions reflect the state’s climate change targets.

This week the government released a statement making it clear that all sectors must reduce emissions and that legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets must be considered in the planning process for major projects. The Environment Protection Authority has also released guidelines for high-emitting projects in the planning system. I welcome government action on this important matter and hope the reforms result in climate responsible determinations while the government reviews the Strategic Statement on Coal.

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