Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action (BSCA) has welcomed the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s announcement that its groundbreaking Climate Change Policy and Plan is now final.
Fiona Lee of BSCA, who lost her home to the Black Summer fires in 2019, said: “It’s been a long journey since we won our landmark case in the Land and Environment Court almost 18 months ago.
“As a result of that case, the NSW EPA is now an environmental regulator with teeth. It has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industry and in doing so protect our communities and environment from ongoing extreme weather events driven by climate change.”
Ms Lee added that while the EPA plan was a good first step, more work needed to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this decade.
“We will work constructively with the EPA to see the plan strengthened at the next annual review” she said. “For example the roll out of legally enforceable emissions reduction targets should occur faster than is required under the current plan.
“This is the most important decade to reduce emissions if we want to minimise the impact of climate change and the extreme weather events we’re already experiencing.”
Environmental Defenders Office Legal Strategy Director Elaine Johnson said: “This is an important first step by the NSW EPA and other states and territories should now follow suit.
“Our environment protection agencies are there to protect us from harm caused by pollution, and one of the most dangerous forms of pollution today is greenhouse gases.
“It is absolutely the responsibility and duty of all EPAs to ensure protection from climate change for all Australians.
“That means dramatically cutting emissions and ensuring a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels.”