Laws limit how pollution impacts project approvals

THE State government will move to restrict how the state's planning commission can factor greenhouse gas pollution concerns into major development decisions with new laws to be introduced to parliament this week.

Party room was told this morning of the decision to address the so called "scope 3" issue after a high level leadership meeting signed off last night on the plan.

Under the plan, approval conditions for projects will not be able to relate to scope 3 emissions.

 

The Independent Planning Commission rejected a major coal mine in the Bylong Valley because of emissions it would generate in Korea.
The Independent Planning Commission rejected a major coal mine in the Bylong Valley because of emissions it would generate in Korea.

 

Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions generated from a project, and are the target of these laws.

The government will also remove specific consideration of scope 3 emissions in the State Environmental Planning Policy, and develop a new whole of government policy and guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions.

It comes about a month after one of the reasons cited by the Independent Planning Commission for rejecting a major coal mine in the Bylong Valley was emissions it would generate in Korea.

It also follows a highly contested move by the IPC to impose a restriction on the United Wambo coal project which prohibited coal exports to countries not signed up to the Paris targets.

The result is a win for Nationals Leader John Barilaro who has pushed strongly for changes.

He said the proposed legislation would clarify the concerns around the export of coal after a recent decision by the Independent Planning Commission imposed a Scope 3 emissions condition on its approval of the United Wambo coal project.

"The Government has a very clear policy when it comes to the consideration of these scope-three emissions and this will now be enshrined in legislation and through changes to the Mining SEPP," Mr Barilaro said.

The Daily Telegraph has been told Planning Minister Rob Stokes will give notice of his intent to introduce the legislation before Question Time tomorrow.

The move comes as The Minerals Council has been attacking the government and the Independent Planning Commission in an ad campaign over uncertainty.