Mar 30, 2010 - 5:00pm
The Climate Institute welcomed the formation of The Prime Minister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency and the release of an issues paper to help guide a “step change in energy efficiency by 2020, and to place Australia at the forefront of OECD energy efficiency improvement”.“Australia has one of the most climate polluting and energy wasting economies in the developed world,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute*.
“This effort to crack the energy efficiency nut, across all sectors of the economy, is long overdue and critical to ensure the long-term global competitiveness and productivity of a range of sectors from manufacturing to mining.
“Stronger action on energy efficiency will not only provide “therapy” for existing inefficient buildings and industries but will also spark investment, innovation and job creation.
“Increasing energy efficiency means smaller power bills for households, increased profitability and spin-off health benefits from helping to lower overall climate and other air pollution.”
The Issues Paper cites a report from the International Energy Agency that confirms Australia’s poor performance and shows general energy efficiency from 1990 -2006 went backwards unlike key competitors, including similar countries like Canada and US (p4).
The Climate Institute acknowledged the importance of improving energy efficiency, but also stressed that such measures must be part of a broader agenda underpinned by an economy-wide carbon price to reduce Australia’s still rising carbon emissions.
“Energy efficiency is a key piece of the climate action jigsaw but we can’t avoid the need for limits and prices on climate pollution if we are to increase our competitiveness and reduce harmful pollution.”
Ahead of the 2007 Federal Election, The Labour Party committed to put Australia ‘on track to being at the forefront of OECD energy efficiency improvement’**.
“We welcome the initiative and look forward providing advice on good policy for all political parties and businesses in this key area of energy efficiency,” Mr Connor concluded.
*John Connor is a member of the Task Group’s Advisory Board
**Election 07 Fact Sheet: A National Energy Efficiency Goal, (2007) ALP.