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IEA backs Australia's clean energy direction

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MEDIA RELEASE Ian Macfarlane Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

8 November 2006


Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said a report released by the International Energy Agency today showed just how far the Kyoto agreement fell short of being the global scheme the world needs.

Mr Macfarlane said the World Energy Outlook 2006, was essential reading for would-be policy makers in the climate change debate.

“The International Energy Agency provides a thorough objective analysis of the future energy needs of the world which will embarrass critics of the Howard Government’s energy policies,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The report predicts that more than 75 per cent of the expected growth in global CO2 emissions to 2030 will occur in developing countries, with China alone to account for almost 40 per cent of the rise in global emissions.

“Emissions from developing countries will overtake emissions from OECD countries by about 2010.

“These projections underline the shortcomings of Kyoto and vindicate the Howard Government’s commitment to supporting a broader, more effective international agreement.”

Another major finding is that the contribution of fossil fuels will rise. By 2030, fossil fuels will provide 81 per cent of energy needs.

“The Government is ahead of the international curve on both fronts,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“We have committed $500 million to developing low emissions technologies, including cleaning up coal-fired power stations and, through AP6, almost $60 million to supported technology transfer to developing countries to tackle emissions. This is on top of over $600 million in direct support for the renewable energy industry over the last decade."

Finally, the International Energy Agency notes that nuclear power is a proven technology for generating baseload electricity and is making a major contribution to cutting CO2 emissions.

“Concerns about energy security and the rising price of fossil fuels are making nuclear power a more attractive option.

“The Government recognises community concerns about nuclear power and wants an informed debate based on facts not fear.”

“The World Energy Outlook 2006 highlights how important that debate is, for the environment and industry,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Media contact: Lisa Chalk (02) 6277 7580 or 0409 476619.

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