A NSW Government website

Ministerial Statement

Updates regarding Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030 and previous Implementation Updates

In December 2023, the NSW Government passed the Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023 (the Climate Change Act) with support from across the NSW Parliament. 

The Climate Change Act enshrines in law, for the first time, NSW’s emissions reduction targets. These targets are:

  • a 50% reduction on 2005 emissions by 2030
  • a 70% reduction on 2005 emissions by 2035
  • net zero emissions by 2050.

The Climate Change Act also requires the Government to set further interim targets for 2040 and 2045 through regulation. 

As well as catalysing the economic opportunities that come from decarbonising our economy, meeting these targets is essential for the future health and wellbeing of the people of NSW, our communities and our environment. 

The latest projections from the NSW Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water show a significant risk that NSW is not on track to meet its 2030 and 2035 targets without further action by the Government and the private sector. 

In response to these projections, the Government is doubling-down on its efforts to address climate change. 

While acknowledging that sectors of the NSW economy will decarbonise at different rates, the Government’s policy is that all sectors need to ratchet down their emissions to meet NSW’s legislated targets and the targets that will be established for 2040 and 2045.

Some sectors require long lead-times to secure emissions reductions. The Government’s policy is that entities involved in assessment and decision-making processes under the planning system – including the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) and the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) – should consider NSW’s emissions-reduction targets and, to the extent relevant, the Climate Change Act’s guiding principles when examining new developments. 

The Environment Protection Authority is finalising new Climate Change Assessment Requirements and Guidelines for high-emitting projects. These must be taken into consideration by proponents as part of the planning assessment process.

The Climate Change Act also established the Net Zero Commission, an independent, expert advisory body. The Government is setting up the Commission now and expects to make further updates to NSW’s climate change policies in 2025 once it has received advice from the Commission.