Mar 20, 2009 - 12:00am
Members of the big polluter lobby that claim reducing emissions is
unaffordable have been forced to reveal that they are sitting on
millions of dollars of energy efficiency savings, says a report, Business Council of Australia’s Missing Millions, released today by the independent Climate Institute.
has been many overblown claims by the big polluters on cost and jobs
impacts of reducing emissions – a prime example being an influential
report from the BCA that inflated costs yet ignored major energy
efficiency savings,” Climate Institute CEO John Connor said.
“The polluters and the BCA have been forced to reveal the missing millions - here they are!”
Climate Institute has examined BCA public company reports required for
the first time under the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency
Opportunities (EEO) Act.
On their own estimates, the big polluter
members of the BCA can reduce carbon emissions by 3.1 million tonnes
each year - the equivalent to taking 715,000 cars off the road - and
reduce their future carbon costs by $71.3-$160.4 million each year.
These would be on investments which are paid back in four years and
would add significant ongoing energy savings.
These reports cover
just 46% of companies’ energy use, meaning potential for cost neutral
savings of around 6.7 million tonnes of CO2-e per year – equivalent to
carbon cost savings of over $150 million annually, enough to support
over 3 000 jobs. Bigger energy efficiency savings are likely if
companies invest in projects that have a slightly longer pay back
period. It doesn’t include other low cost pollution reduction
opportunities, available beyond energy use.
“Big polluters have
found to been ‘loose with the truth’ on costs while also refusing to
come clean on what are emissions reduction targets needed for a safe
climate,” Mr Connor said.
“People need to remember it was ever
thus, as Tony Blair told the G8 last year: ‘Experience from past
environmental issues such as acid rain and CFCs indicates that costs are
often overstated; costs in both cases turned out to be less than a
third of original estimates’.
“Behaviour of the polluters
contrasts with other businesses such as the Property Council and many
superannuation and investment companies who want to get on with the job
of moving to a low-carbon economy.”
Calculations from the company reports also show that:
Billiton has identified around 741,000 tonnes of carbon savings a year –
equivalent to $17.3 - $38.9 million per year in reduced carbon
- BlueScope Steel is sitting on carbon emissions
reductions of 261,000 tonnes – equivalent to reduction carbon
liabilities of $6.1 - $13.7 million.
“A separate report
has shown that because of extra free permits and energy efficiency
requirements negotiated by the big polluters in 2010 alone, $1.9 billion
will be effectively redirected from public funds and given to just 18
members of the BCA,” said Mr Connor
“Big polluters need to stop
playing loose with the facts and get on with cleaning up their business;
growing clean jobs and a clean economic recovery.”