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Greens Welcome Sustainable Business Proposals

Greens Welcome Sustainable Business Proposals

The Green Party has welcomed a report published today by the Business Council for Sustainable Development that calls for a long-term energy strategy for New Zealand.

"It is good to see business endorsing the need for governments to plan, because energy markets cannot respond fast enough to the changes we are facing," Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"The report underlines that we have choices. The key task of energy planning is to distinguish between the things we can plan, like the rate of investment in energy efficiency and the assistance given to renewable energy, and things we can't - like the international price of oil.

"In this respect the report is very optimistic, claiming the date of maximum world oil production will be in the next 50 years. That enables the authors to list oil-based transport fuels as readily available at 45 to 55 cents a litre (production cost) for several decades, with possible restricted supply only around 2050.

"I do not share that optimism and neither do increasing numbers of international analysts," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"Even the International Energy Agency, which used to be very optimistic about oil future availability, said in April this year that oil could reach maximum flow as soon as 2013. Authorities in the Association for the Study of Peak Oil believe it will be earlier than that.

"However, the energy policy steps recommended by the BCSD are generally in line with what the Green Party has been proposing for a long time: serious improvements in energy efficiency to reduce the energy intensity of our economy; serious improvements in public transport in cities; acceptance that the future will be a mix of many energy sources not reliance on one magic bullet; excluding inefficient vehicles from future entry to New Zealand; and active work to keep abreast of international technology developments so we can be early adopters of innovations that suit this country.

"It is encouraging to see a group of mainly large businesses who are producers of energy or motor vehicles embracing the need for sustainability and the urgency of addressing climate change," Ms Fitzsimons says.

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