In August 2021, a group of survivors of the horrific Black Summer bushfires took a landmark climate case to the NSW Land & Environment Court and won. For the first time, an Australian court allowed evidence on climate change to be heard in a case involving an alleged failure by a government agency – the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) – to perform a statutory duty. And for the first time, an Australian Court ordered a government to take meaningful action on climate change.
A year later, in response to the historic ruling, the NSW EPA has released a draft Climate Change Policy and draft Climate Change Action Plan. This is a huge and important step in recognising and clarifying the duty of the EPA to address climate change and regulate greenhouse gas pollution, in this critical decade for action on climate change.
The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) welcomes the opportunity to provide comment on the Draft EPA Climate Change Policy and Climate Change Action Plan 2022-2025. This submission provides our analysis of the Draft Policy & Action Plan and identifies key issues to support and strengthen in the proposed framework.