EPA actions on climate change

Learn how the EPA contributes to the NSW Government’s Climate Change Policy Framework goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing resilience to climate change.

Looking up into the tree canopy, Coopernook State Forest, Port MacquarieThe NSW EPA released a draft Climate Change Policy and Action Plan 2022–25 and sought industry and community views on them.

The draft policy and action plan adopts, supports and builds on the strong foundations that have been set by the NSW Government through the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework, Net Zero Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, as well as various supporting climate change policies and strategies to help industries decarbonise.

We are reviewing feedback and will release the final policy and action plan soon.

Your say

Find out how the NSW Government is supporting households, business and the community to make sustainable choices at NSW Climate and Energy Action.

Our Strategic Plan 2021-24 identifies climate change and ecological sustainable development as two of our key focus areas. We are committed to:

  • taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change impacts and build greater environmental and community resilience aligned with the principles in the NSW Net Zero Plan
  • championing sustainable approaches to mitigate the cumulative impacts of industry on local communities and environments.

Our Regulatory Strategy 2021–24 outlines our purpose, guiding principles and approach to improving outcomes for the environment and human health. The strategy identifies climate change as one of our key regulatory challenges.

Our Regulatory Policy explains how we make decisions and identify appropriate action to respond to environmental or human health issues.

Our Waste Delivery Plan outlines the action we will take to reduce the harmful impact of waste and drive behaviours that create a circular economy, including actions to deliver on the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041. Our Waste Delivery Plan includes actions to reduce carbon emissions and building waste sector resilience to climate change.

We prepare the NSW State of the Environment (SoE) report every three years, to provide a snapshot in time of the status of the main environmental issues facing NSW. Our SoE 2021 report, the Climate and Air theme describes the causes and consequences of climate change in NSW and provides information about the NSW Government’s response.

The NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment has provided specific directions to the EPA on the information pertaining to the Net Zero Plan to be included within the State of the Environment Report.

See the Ministerial directive (PDF 92KB), and the EPA CEO’s response (PDF 137KB).

Current EPA climate change actions

  • We monitor and report on the impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the implementation and effectiveness of the NSW Net Zero Plan, in NSW State of the Environment reports
  • We engage and collaborate with climate change experts across the NSW Government, and with environmental regulators in other jurisdictions, as we develop and implement our climate change actions
  • We monitor emerging issues, trends, risks and opportunities surrounding the issue of climate change and the transition to a decarbonised economy
  • We are preparing an EPA statement on climate change impacts, risks and adaptation to better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change on our operations
  • We develop and implement programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector, to achieve our emissions target of net zero emissions from organic waste from landfills by 2030
  • We support the whole-of-government approach to streamlining project approvals in renewable energy zones
  • We develop and implement tailored behavioural change programs to encourage and enable greenhouse gas emission reductions
  • We ensure methane emissions from EPA licensed onshore gas operators are minimised
  • We regulate short-lived climate pollutants from our licensees
  • We are committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2030
  • We protect the environment during emergency response and recovery
  • We ensure climate risks are considered in native forestry.

Our draft Climate Change Action Plan 2022–25 provides more information about these current actions that we will continue and strengthen our approach.

Proposed new EPA climate change actions

Our draft Climate Change Action Plan 2022–25 also outlines a series of proposed new EPA climate change actions. These include:

  • working with industry, government and experts to improve the evidence base and support licensees to prepare, implement and report on climate change mitigation and adaptation plans
  • partnering with NSW Government agencies to ensure climate change is being adequately addressed during the planning and assessment process for activities the EPA regulates
  • establishing cost-effective emission reduction targets for key industry sectors where required, and providing industry best-practice guidelines to support them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
  • progressively placing greenhouse gas emission limits and other regulatory requirements on environment protection licences for key industry sectors
  • developing and implementing resilience programs, best-practice adaptation guidance and harnessing citizen science and education programs to support the EPA, industry, and community to be more prepared for, and resilient to, climate change impacts
  • working with Aboriginal people and the EPA Youth Advisory Council to improve the EPA’s evolving climate change response.
EPA staff at Narrabri Gas Plant
Quakers Hill Water Recycling Plant
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