Auckland 13 August 2008 –
Greenpeace has welcomed the Government's announcement of a National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation.
"Greenpeace has long been asking for a national policy statement (NPS), to help sort the good electricity projects from the bad," said Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer.
"A clear NPS will allow councils to weigh up a variety of factors, such as benefits to the climate and risks to biodiversity, when considering consent applications. Crucially, the Labour-led Government's NPS will be coupled with a 90 per cent by 2025 renewable electricity target."
Mr Boxer said he hoped the National Party's energy policy, due to be released tomorrow, would support renewable generation to the same degree.
"Fossil fuels have no part to play in New Zealand's energy future. We're already generating 70 per cent of our electricity from renewables and we have some of the richest and widest renewable energy sources in the world."
Last year Greenpeace commissioned a major report into sustainable energy which found that we can achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025 whilst maintaining security of supply (1).
"The Greenpeace report shows that in the long run, renewable energy will be cheaper than conventional energy sources and will reduce New Zealand's dependence on imported fossil fuels.
"There aren't just environmental gains from moving from fossil fuels to renewables, but also significant economic and social gains."
Mr Boxer said energy efficiency and conservation should not be overlooked in all the talk of new projects.
"It's important to remember we can't just build our way out of the climate change problem. We need to simultaneously improve energy efficiency. The recent national energy savings campaign showed this is possible."
Greenpeace is calling for a national emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020.
(1) New Zealand Energy Revolution: How to prevent climate chaos - http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/press/reports/nz-energy-revolution-r eport