Apr 28, 2005

Energy efficiency deserves 5 stars – not thumbs down


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 28 April 2005

The Howard Government must reject the Productivity Commission’s response to energy efficiency if it is at all concerned about the threat of climate change.

The Productivity Commission’s Draft Energy Efficiency Report concluded “the benefits of energy efficiency improvements may be overstated”. The report:

• Recommended “light handed responses and information provision wherever possible, rather than overly prescriptive and intrusive approaches”;

• Rejected any mandatory energy efficiency measures and a national energy efficiency target; and

• Called for the National Framework for Energy Efficiency to be halted.

The Productivity Commission is out of step with mainstream Australian business and its report is a slap in the face to those concerned about climate change.

In its submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry, the Australian Gas Association said: “a National Framework for Energy Efficiency can be one of the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency, enhance our international competitiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Green Building Council of Australia stated: “mandated minimum energy efficiency standards should be applied for all new commercial, residential and government buildings”.

The Howard Government’s own Energy White Paper states:

“Improved energy efficiency can deliver almost $1 billion per year in increased GDP. The Australian Government places a high priority on achieving these benefits.”

If the Howard Government was serious about cutting greenhouse pollution, it would

• reject the Productivity Commission report and

• include measures to support energy efficiency and clean energy in the 2005 Budget.

Clean, efficient energy deserves five stars, not the thumbs down.