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ALP rising to the efficiency challenge, but not making it EASI enough.



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

ALP rising to the efficiency challenge, but not making it EASI enough

Monday August 6, 2007 Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today welcomed the ALP's adoption of Greens policy on minimum energy performance standards, but called for far more comprehensive policies to take advantage of energy efficiency, the fastest and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Senator Milne said “It is gratifying to see the Labor Party adopting Greens policy on minimum energy performance standards for appliances that we set out in my report, Re-Energising Australia, in April this year. Improving the efficiency of household appliances is a vital part of the policy approach to tackling climate change.

"But if we are to achieve deep and fast cuts in greenhouse emissions, we need to go much further and take a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency.

"Last week, I launched a bold multi-billion dollar plan to substantially upgrade the energy efficiency of Australia's 7.4 million homes over the next decade, significantly reducing greenhouse emissions, household expenditure and energy infrastructure investment."

The Greens' EASI initiative would roll out free energy audits to every household in Australia and pay the upfront costs of energy efficiency improvements with a payback period of ten years or less. Householders would pay back the investment through their energy bills, with repayments lower than the savings on the bill to ensure that no householder is ever out of pocket.

If fully implemented, EASI would reduce greenhouse emissions by close to 30 million tonnes each year, achieving almost 10% of the emissions reductions required by the Greens' target to reduce emissions to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Senator Milne said "Next to our EASI policy, Labor's performance standards policy is fiddling around the edges.

"Our bold plan is the kind of visionary strategy that is necessary if we are to achieve the massive emissions reductions we need to avoid runaway climate change. It goes far beyond anything offered by any other party, demonstrating that the Greens are the only party seriously grappling with the climate change challenge."

For a copy of the EASI policy document or a 1 page briefing note, contact:

Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562