Government Emissions Interim Target

The interim target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels applies to emissions from all Government agencies across the State, including transport, health and education, and emissions generated by Government Trading Enterprises (GTE's).
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The Government of Western Australia has committed to a whole-of-government 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels.

This ambitious emissions reduction target shows responsible leadership and is a signal to business and industry in Western Australia (WA) that climate action and emissions reduction is a priority for the State Government. It also provides a clear message that WA is open for investment in renewable energy generation.

This interim target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels applies to emissions from all Government agencies across the State, including transport, health and education, and emissions generated by government trading enterprises (GTEs).

This commitment builds on an announcement that Synergy will transition out of coal-fired power generation by 2030. An estimated $3.8 billion will be invested in new green power infrastructure in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), including wind generation and storage, to ensure emissions reduction, continued stability and affordability.

To help achieve  the interim target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels,  the Government with deliver a range of initiatives to reduce the net emissions of Government, including energy efficiency measures, procurement of renewable energy, reduced emissions in the Government vehicle fleet and the use of local offsets.

For more information please view the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Government emissions interim target – frequently asked questions

What does the Government Interim Target cover

  1. What is the Government’s target and what greenhouse gas emissions are covered?

The Government has set a target for reducing emissions from Government operations by 80 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. The target covers all current Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (electricity use) emissions from Government agencies and government trading enterprises (GTEs), including Synergy, Western Power, Horizon Power and the Water Corporation, as well as public hospitals, schools and the Public Transport Authority. A total of 100 agencies and GTEs are included in the Government target.

  1. Does the Government target include emissions from contracted services? 

Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (except Scope 2 electricity use) that occur in the value chain of Government agencies, including both upstream and downstream emissions. Most contractor emissions are Scope 3 and therefore not subject to the Government target. However, individual agencies can still choose to address significant Scope 3 emissions in their net zero transition plans.

  1. Does the target include emissions from the land sector?

Carbon emissions and carbon sinks (e.g. from vegetation growth) from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) are not included within the Government target. These emissions are currently estimated at the national level, including government and non-government activities combined. Land sector emissions will be addressed through the Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategy (SERS) currently in development.

  1. What government emissions will continue after 2030? 

The Government will still have residual Scope 1 (direct) emissions from gas and diesel-fired power generation by Synergy and Horizon Power, along with other emissions, including from domestic wastewater treatment. Currently most State vehicle fleet emissions are offset by carbon credits. This may change as the fleet adds more electric vehicles powered by renewable electricity.   

  1. What is the base year from which emission reductions will be measured?

The Government has committed to reducing emissions by 80 per cent below 2020 (FY2020) levels by 2030 (FY 2030). Whilst national emissions reduction targets are set against a 2005 base year, it is appropriate for government emissions targets to be set against FY2020 as more accurate data is available for current operations. The interim target will reduce emissions by more than 80 per cent relative to 2005 levels because government emissions were higher in 2005 than in 2020.

Why is a Government Emissions Interim Target needed

  1. Why has the Government target been developed?

The target has been developed to support the commitment in the WA Climate Policy to Government leadership in the transition to net zero emissions by 2050. This interim target sends a signal to the broader economy that the Government is serious about tackling climate change and setting up Western Australia for a healthy, prosperous, low-carbon future.

  1. Is the Government interim target consistent with science-based targets for transitioning to net zero emissions?

Yes, the latest AR6 IPCC Working Group Three report (2022) advises that emissions need to be reduced as soon as possible to maintain global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Government interim target of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 goes beyond the 2030 pathways outlined in the IPCC report and aligns with the imperative to accelerate the net zero transition.

  1. Does the Government target take into account the recent announcement for Synergy?

The Government target takes account of emissions reductions planned for Synergy, which contributed around three quarters of government emissions in 2020. However, the interim target will ensure all Government agencies take action to reduce emissions, not just Synergy.

How the Interim Target will be achieved

  1. How will the Government target be achieved?

Emissions reduction will occur through a range of actions by Government agencies and Government trading enterprises, including energy efficiency upgrades, electrification, installation of onsite renewable energy and use of grid-based renewable electricity.

  1. Will carbon offsets be used to achieve the Government target?

Government emissions reduction will follow the emissions reduction hierarchy, with energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy as first priorities.  If carbon offsets are required to offset hard to abate emissions, high integrity offsets will be used, with a preference for local carbon offset projects wherever possible.

  1. Will all Government agencies be required to achieve the interim target? 

No. Some Government agencies will be able to decarbonise more easily than others. Agencies are required to develop their own net zero transition plans outlining how they will reduce or avoid emissions across their operations, consistent with Government’s focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

  1. How will progress against the Government target be tracked and monitored?

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is evaluating options for reporting of government emissions. DWER will develop the approach to public reporting on the Government target over the course of 2022-23 financial year.

How does the Government target contribute to WA’s Sectoral Emission Reduction Strategy

  1. What is the impact of the interim target on WA emissions? 

Emissions from Government operations contributed 9 per cent of Western Australia’s total emissions in 2020. The Government target will reduce WA’s total emissions by more than 5 million tonnes, or 6 per cent relative to 2020 levels.

  1. How does the Government target contribute to decarbonising the WA economy?

The Government has set an interim target to reduce emissions from Government operations to demonstrate leadership and drive decarbonisation in key sectors. Investments by Government agencies in energy efficiency, electrification, renewable energy and carbon offset activities will support regional development and enhance public sector capability and broader efforts across the economy in emissions reduction.