State to have a say on climate change

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser

The State’s drying climate and coastal erosion are some of the pressing issues highlighted in the McGowan Government’s new WA Climate Change paper.

Published on Wednesday, the paper identified 11 areas for the community to discuss, including the environmental prosperity of WA agriculture and food sectors.

The Government is encouraging regional West Australians to share their views.

“Our State is the nation’s largest grain-producing region, and a significant producer of meat and livestock, dairy, wool and horticulture products,” the paper stated.

“Climate change presents our regional communities with both impacts to be managed and new economic opportunities.”

Other key matters include the future of mobility and transport, waste reduction and increased renewable energy use.

The paper follows Albany’s driest year on record in 2018 and its driest February in 115 years.

In its State of the Climate 2018 report, the Bureau of Meteorology described the drying across southern Australia as the biggest, most sustained change in rainfall since national records started.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said there needed to be a balance between reducing emissions and managing impacts on industry.

“There is a critical need for leadership at the national level to ensure we realise our national emissions reductions ambitions under the Paris Agreement,” Mr Dawson said.

“We also need to ensure our approach is practical and achievable, and that impacts on industry are managed responsibly.”

But Minister Dawson stopped short of declaring a climate emergency in Parliament.

On the same day the Climate Change issue paper was published, the minister amended a Greens WA motion calling on the Government to acknowledge the climate crisis and declare a climate emergency

Greens WA climate change spokesman Tim Clifford said the McGowan Government had “jumped further into bed” with the Morrison Government.

To comment on the WA Climate Change paper, visit www.dwer.wa.gov.au/consultation.

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