11, Oct, 2007

ECO Welcomes Energy Strategy Commitment to Renewables and Energy Efficiency

Category: ECO Inc

The National Energy Strategy and the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (NEECS) are a major step forward in the road towards a sustainable energy measures for New Zealand, says the Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand, ECO.

“The development of a sustainable energy strategy was decades overdue,” Mr Weeber, ECO Co-chairperson said. “It is time for New Zealand to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels towards a much greater investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.”

ECO noted that the strategy is a companion policy to the emissions trading scheme launched last month by the Government to start to deal with our greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Weeber said the emission trading scheme has a very elastic cap which may not actually reduce emissions to that Energy Strategy and NEECS are crucial for creating real reductions.

“The end to new fossil fuel electricity generation is a major step forward for renewable electricity generation and for moving towards a reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The major change over previous Government energy policies is the greater commitment to investment in energy efficiency.”

The targets in the strategy to halve domestic transport emissions by 2040 and to achieve 90 percent of our electricity from renewables by 2025 are important commitments to sustainability. Mr Weeber said the targets could be stronger but were a significant step forward.

“ECO welcomes the new investment in improving household comfort and energy efficiency, and the vehicle efficiency standards.”

In launching the documents the Minister of Energy, David Parker, rightly pointed out that blaming the Resource Management Act for past problems in energy was “misguided”.

ECO welcomes the development of a National Policy Statement (NPS) on renewable energy under the Resource Management Act.

“Particularly welcome is the Minister’s commitment that a Renewable Energy National Policy Statement would not be renewable energy at any price to the environment. The Minister’s statement that the New Zealand doesn’t need to ‘dam more rivers’ or erect ‘wind farms on every ridgeline’ would help to allay some concerns that this policy could turn in to a renewables at any price strategy.”

“One disappointment in the strategy was the government’s ongoing commitment to further drill for gas and oil around New Zealand.

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For further information, contact Barry Weeber 021-738-807 or Cath Wallace 021-891-994

ECO has 65 member organizations with a shared concern for the environment.

The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy is a statutory document under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act which was passed in 2000.