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WA releases sectoral emissions reduction strategy

The Western Australian government has released the Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategy, a plan to reduce emissions across five sectors and achieve net zero by 2050.

According to the state government, community organisations, research bodies, businesses, industry representatives, and environmental bodies were consulted extensively during the preparation of the strategy.

The sectors listed in the strategy are electricity; industry (which includes mining); transport; agriculture and land; and buildings and waste. There is also a role defined for direct air capture, as well as land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). The inclusion of direct air capture could stoke controversy, as the technology is yet to reach mass adoption due to concerns about its cost and effectiveness, as well as claims that it will enable the continued use of harmful fossil fuels well into the future.

The strategy also notes the need for a just energy transition that will empower Aboriginal people, regionally based individuals, small businesses and communities through community‑owned renewable projects, partnerships with industry and job opportunities.

The WA government’s modelling forecasts dramatic decreases in carbon emissions from industry, electricity, transport, and buildings over the next three decades. It also anticipates increases in the carbon-neutralising abilities of direct air capture and land use, with an increased emphasis on forestry. Agriculture has the most fraught path, with the modelling predicting net reductions of only around 20 per cent, which would make the sector the state’s biggest individual source of emissions by 2050.

In the buildings pathway, the strategy highlights the need for electrification and energy-efficiency improvements, but does not specifically mention the HVAC&R industry. Nevertheless, HVAC&R will certainly play a role in the suite of building sector initiatives outlined in the report, to be completed by 2027.

The Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategy is available at the WA government’s website.

Image courtesy of Kshithij Chandrashekar via Unsplash.

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