25 September 2023

Report sets out state of the environment

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Population growth continues to be a key driver of changes to the environment, the NSW Environment Protection Agency says in its latest State of the Environment report.

The report says the population of NSW is set to grow to almost 10 million by 2036, with most of the growth expected to be in Sydney.

For the first time, the report is available on a purpose-built interactive website that will allow data to be updated on a regular basis.

Acting chair and Chief Executive Officer of the EPA, Mark Gifford (pictured) said the State of the Environment 2018, produced by the EPA working with other Government agencies, helped to inform decision makers and the community about essential elements of our environment, including our land, water, air and ecosystems, and our urban environment.

“The report highlights areas where government, community and industry efforts are leading to benefits, with less household and industry waste going to landfill, a significant decrease in litter, good air quality, and renewable energy generation rising rapidly,” Mr Gifford said.

“The report also shows that the NSW economy is shifting to be less resource-intensive and more services-based, which has reduced environmental impacts,” he said.

“This shows that economic growth and a better environment can be mutual goals.”

Mr Gifford said electricity generation had seen a strong increase in the use of renewable, low emissions sources, from 11 per cent in 2014 to 16 per cent in 2017.

He said that over the three years to June 2016, total NSW and ACT energy consumption declined by almost six per cent.

He said the report showed population growth continued to be a key driver of changes to the environment.

“By 2036 the population of NSW is expected to grow to 9.9 million. This growth brings challenges for our environment and resource use,” he said.

“Climate change continues to pose a significant threat.

“Counteracting these effects requires collaborative action at a state, national and global level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the resilience of the environment for the future,” he said.

The 374-page State of the Environment 2018 report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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