Climate laws, powerless against coal and gas developments


A new Ministerial Statement on the NSW Net Zero Plan has revealed the ineffectiveness of the State’s Net Zero Climate Legislation unless new laws are introduced that address coal and gas developments in the planning system. The new Statement comes just a few weeks after it was revealed that NSW is unlikely to reach the legislated emissions reductions set for 2030 and 2035.

Greens MP and spokesperson for Climate Change Sue Higginson said “This Ministerial Statement will not be an effective action against climate change and the fossil fuel developments that are driving it,”

“Unless there is a clear legal requirement that massive fossil fuel developments should not proceed through the planning system, fossil fuel corporations will continue to fight and win against the Government when their dangerous projects are declined,”

“We need more than just a Statement, more than just policy indications, we need a Government that will take action to stop the worst emitters and write a law that prohibits new and expanded coal mines and gas projects,”

“The terrible upshot of this, is that if a planning authority relies on this Statement, then the mining company can challenge any refusal of their project because the Government is not setting a legal standard,”

“The Ministers for Climate Change and Planning should be working together on getting this policy so it is enforceable. Instead, it looks like Minister Sharpe is going it alone with her limited power over the planning system,”

“The Minister for Planning needs to use his powers to make actual planning policies to stop fossil fuel projects that are in the planning system now. Anything less is just hot air in a rapidly warming climate,” Ms Higginson said.