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EECA Strategy Milestone

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today hailed the draft national Energy Efficiency and Conservation national strategy as a milestone on the path to a sustainable energy future.

"This path has occupied me personally for the last 25 years since I first engaged with energy policy in the 1970's debate on nuclear power. Since then New Zealand has become steadily less sustainable with massive growth in energy use and much less reliance on renewables than we used to have.

Ms Fitzsimons' Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, passed last year, required New Zealand's first ever national Energy Efficiency and Conservation strategy to be developed.

"The next crucial phase is for the public to debate this and get involved, otherwise the strategy will be no more than nice words on a piece of paper. The roadshow will make that public participation possible."

Ms Fitzsimons said some might find the target confusing. "The 20 percent reduction target is not a 20 percent reduction in energy use, but a reduction in the growth of energy use. It is hard to measure and I would be in favour of setting a more easily understood and measured target."

"The consultation document asked that the public say whether the target is good enough. I predict that many people will say that it's not high enough, we should be setting a stronger target."

Ms Fitzsimons said current proposals from three different energy companies to build new gas-fired power stations were pulling New Zealand in the other direction.

"If these new power stations get built, they will get used and the positive measures set out in this strategy will seem trivial in comparison."

"In the same way, if we keep building new motorways, public transport will save very little energy because it will not be used."


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