Fact sheet: About our Climate Change Policy and Action Plan

We have a critical role in protecting the environment from the threat of climate change and in supporting the NSW Government’s net zero commitments.

Climate Change Policy and Action Plan inclusions

The EPA’s Climate Change Policy and Action Plan 2023–26 adopt, support and build on foundations set by the NSW Government. These foundations include the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework, the Net Zero Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, and various supporting policies and strategies.

Our policy and action plan set out clear expectations and regulatory framework to support licenced industries to decarbonise and build resilience to climate change.

We will use a range of regulatory approaches depending on the needs of the sector. This includes education, research, grants, behaviour change programs, best practice guidelines, standards and targets and licencing.

There are 3 major focus areas:

  1. Inform and plan:
    • work with industry, government and experts to improve the evidence base on regulating climate change
    • embed climate change into planning and regulatory decisions
    • support licensees to prepare, implement and report on climate change mitigation and adaptation management plans
    • work with Aboriginal people and our Environment Youth Advisory Council to improve the EPA’s evolving climate change response.
  2. Mitigate:
    • establish cost-effective emission reduction targets for key industry sectors
    • provide industry with best-practice guidelines to support it to reduce its emissions
    • phase in greenhouse gas emission limits on licences for key industry sectors.
  3. Adapt:
    • develop resilience programs and best-practice adaptation guidance
    • harness citizen science and develop and implement community education programs.

Implementation of actions

The plan sets out new and continuing actions to help regulate carbon emissions, reduce climate change impacts and support adaptation over the next three years and beyond. As part of this process, we will work collaboratively with industry and all levels of government to ensure actions are meaningful, feasible, cost effective and do not establish duplicative regulatory arrangements.

Next steps

We are establishing advisory groups for key industry sectors to guide the design and implementation of actions.

We will also partner with other government agencies and survey licensees to better understand their maturity and general progress in identifying and reducing their climate risks and the steps they are already taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will also be asking about the sorts of support they need. The results of the survey will further inform the design of other actions under the plan.