Climate Change Bill 2023 call to urgent action – last chance to influence debate in WA parliament’s lower house

By Steve Gates

Dear NRPG members and interested,

The WA Climate Change bill has some serious flaws that need to be rigorously reviewed before becoming adopted, as noted below. (contacts attached)

Please email or call with a simple message to our local MP Matthew Hughes, so he can take our concerns to Parliament urgently.

Thanks and regards,
Steve Gates

President, NRPG Bushcarers

Hi – Friends and colleagues, 

Climate Change Bill 2023 (Western Australia)


The Climate Change Bill 2023 was introduced to the WA Parliament on the 30th November 2023 at short notice and with insufficient community consultation – and is likely to be debated in the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) of the WA parliament this week.  If it passes, it will go the Legislative Council (the Upper House) for review before becoming legislation.  Its purpose is to: keep WA to its obligations under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050; legislate a framework for emission reduction and adaptation; and, provide certainty for business and investment in the transition. However, it’s unclear how, in its current form, the Bill will do this without a rigorous, expertly informed, debate, and a legislated interim target of at least a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030, and an independent advisory climate body.  Call on your MP to support a referral of the Bill to a Parliamentary Committee for an expertly informed, publicly transparent debate about how the Bill can best be amended to meet its purpose.

The Bill is a very important legislative contribution by WA to the achievement of a safer climate (and as WA is a vital contributor to national and international goals for emission reduction).  This is particularly significant because: (1) WA is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, largely through its extractive industries; and (2) WA is in the frontline of the negative impacts of climate change including extreme terrestrial and marine heatwaves, bushfires, drought in some regions and extreme rainfall events in others, coastal erosion and increased humidity. These cause loss of agricultural capacity, damage to World Heritage areas, loss of biodiversity, threats to food security, and severe impacts on human health and wellbeing. 

However, unlike similar legislation in other jurisdictions, the Bill does not propose a legislated interim target for 2030, nor an independent climate advisory body.  Rather, it empowers the Minister for Climate Action to set an interim target for 2035 at their discretion without reference to any independent expert body, and requires them to report annually against the target that they have set.  This weakens the Bill as a realistic mechanism to ensure that the 2050 net zero target is achieved, removes transparency around when and how an interim target is to be set or amended, and removes the potential for the Bill to provide certainty for industry and investment. Further, setting a target for 2035 rather than 2030 is inconsistent with the timetable agreed under the Paris Agreement. 

What can you do? As a matter of urgency, call or email your representatives in the WA Parliament (your Member of the Legislative Council as well as your Member of the Legislative Assembly – see attached contact lists) to express your concern and urge them to refer the Climate Change Bill 2023 to a Parliamentary Committee. A likely alternative to this is a rubber-stamping of flawed legislation that will reverse progress toward decarbonisation in WA, entrench WA’s dependence on the gas industry, leave WA with stranded fossil fuel assets, and destroy any credible likelihood of WA meeting its 2050 target. 

Yours in unity, 



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