WA advances climate response with carbon capture and storage bill

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Mines and Petroleum, and Hydrogen Industry Minister Bill Johnston has introduced the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Amendment Bill 2023 in the Western Australian Parliament.

The proposed legislation is designed to pave the way for the transport and storage of greenhouse gases within the region, aligning with the state’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions as outlined in the WA Climate Policy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy.

The legislation signifies a concerted effort by the government to establish a comprehensive framework for the storage and transport of greenhouse gases, the WA government said in a media statement.

A noteworthy inclusion in the legislation is the accommodation of naturally occurring hydrogen as a regulated substance, reflecting a commitment to exploring and harnessing alternative energy sources.

This move positions Western Australia at the forefront of the evolving energy landscape, emphasising the state’s dedication to sustainable practices.

Carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), a key component of the proposed legislation, involves the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, offering a strategic approach to reducing emissions from large-scale industrial processes and projects.

This method is gaining prominence globally as industries seek effective ways to decarbonise operations, particularly those deemed hard to abate.

The WA Government, in its support of the legislation, said it recognises CCUS as a vital tool in the pursuit of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

This aligns with broader efforts on both national and global scales to address climate change and transition towards cleaner, more sustainable energy solutions.

Minister Johnston conveyed that the proposal to introduce legislation concerning the storage and transport of greenhouse gases is just one of several measures being considered by the state in response to the challenges posed by climate change.

“As part of this response, the Bill provides the legislative certainty to encourage greenhouse gas storage projects and the development of the industry,” he said.

Minister Johnston noted the government’s awareness of the industry’s interest in exploring naturally occurring hydrogen as an alternative energy source, underlining the commitment to emission reduction.

“Together, this amendment will assist Government and industry to progress towards the goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” the minister concluded.