Legislation

Climate change legislation


State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management)

As with other air quality management requirements, the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) requires that generators of greenhouse gas emissions:

  • avoid and minimise emissions in accordance with the principles of the waste hierarchy
  • pursue continuous improvement
  • apply best practice to the management of their emissions.

Detailed requirements are outlined under the Protocol for environmental management (Greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency in industry (publication 824) and include:

  • best practice for greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption
  • ongoing reporting of energy consumption, direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and energy and greenhouse gas reduction actions. Such reporting is required of all licensees who submitted an action plan to EPA as part of the Industry Greenhouse Program
  • regular review of opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New practices and technologies emerge over time and it is important that further opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are identified as they arise. This will ensure maximum financial return and energy reduction opportunities.

Climate Change Act 2010

The Climate Change Act 2010 (CC Act) was passed by the Victorian Parliament in September 2010 and came into effect on 1 July 2011. It is available at the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

Under the requirements of section 14 of the CC Act, EPA must consider climate change in works approval and licensing decisions, as well as when recommending new or amended state environment protection policies and waste management policies.

The duty does not alter EPA’s existing powers and obligations as set out in the EP Act. Rather, it requires the consideration of additional matters when making the relevant decisions.

Relevant requirements for works approval and licence applicants

When making decisions relating to works approvals and licences, EPA must consider climate change in the following two ways in accordance with the requirements of section 14 of the CC Act.

  1. Potential impacts of climate change

    EPA’s existing Works approval guidelines (publication 1307) already require that risks relating to the management of the environmental impacts of a proposal be identified, prioritised and managed. EPA has updated the guidelines to outline what applicants should consider when determining whether climate change impacts significantly affect the environmental risk posed.
  2. Potential contribution the application will have to greenhouse gas emissions

    Works approval applicants and licensees are already required to demonstrate best practice and continuous improvement in energy and greenhouse gas management as required by the State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) 2001 (the ‘SEPP (AQM)’). These requirements remain unchanged, although applicants may wish to refer to the updated Works approval guidelines, which now provide additional information on identification and estimation of greenhouse gases.

Information for applicants

Applicants should refer to the updated Works approval guidelines for further information.

Review of the Climate Change Act

Information about the recent CC Act Review is available from the Victorian Government Climate Change website. The requirements of section 14 remain in place.

Page last updated on 18 Feb 2013