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Govt energy efficiency moves welcome but fall well short

Govt energy efficiency moves welcome but fall well short Press release - Generation Zero Friday 4 April 2014 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Youth climate change organisation Generation Zero has welcomed today’s announcement of Government funding for three new energy efficiency programmes, but says they are not enough to arrest an overall decline in energy efficiency investment or to get New Zealand’s carbon pollution on a downwards trajectory.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges said the programmes, to be delivered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), would together amount to $3.8 million in investment over 2-3 years and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 20,000 tonnes per annum.

Generation Zero Spokesperson, Paul Young, said: “We support these modest but positive moves, and the Government’s recognition of the huge value that energy efficiency investments can deliver to our economy.”

“However, the additional funding of less than $2 million per year is much less than recent cuts in overall funding for energy efficiency measures.”

Budget information from Treasury shows a cut of nearly $6.5 million to EECA’s budget from 2012/13 to 2013/14, while funding for household insulation programmes was cut back by around $35 million.

Mr Young: “To move towards a clean energy future we want to see total investments in energy efficiency going up, not down.”

The estimated emissions reduction of 20,000 tonnes per year from the programmes amounts to approximately 0.03% of New Zealand’s gross CO2-equivalent emissions in 2011.

This will make virtually no difference to official Government projections showing gross emissions increasing by a further 4.4 million tonnes of CO2-e (6%) by 2020.

Mr Young: “If the Government is serious about energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions then it should be looking at policies such as vehicle fuel economy standards, which would lead to a huge reduction in carbon emissions from our inefficient vehicle fleet.”

“Most importantly, we need a real clean energy plan to smoothly transition our country off fossil fuels, not just slow the growth in our carbon pollution.”

ENDS

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