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New government 'must be made aware of renewable achievements'

15th Jul 2013

The threat of a new government could spell bad news for existing renewable policies, which is why it is vital to make clear how effective sustainable measures have been.

This is the message being driven home by campaign group Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), which called for clear and concise discussion about the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In fact, the organisation described the two as the "real heroes" of climate change action in Australia, despite the carbon price stealing the headlines.

That's not to say the group doesn't support the carbon price; it was quick to point out that recent data has shown the initiative is bringing down emissions and costs aren't spiralling out of control.

However, BZE expressed concern that the leadership squabbles that have seen Julia Gillard replaced as prime minister by Kevin Rudd could have an impact on green policies.

Especially the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which the organisation said has been vital in meeting the country's clean energy goals.

"Despite serious damage to the RET during Rudd's first term … the growth in rooftop solar installations and the recommencement of wind farm construction in the last year shows the RET is still kicking goals," BZE stated.

"If left alone to function properly, the RET is on track to have 26 per cent of electricity generated from renewables by 2020."

But the campaigners aren't just happy with 26 per cent. They say it is merely a stepping stone for reaching the ultimate goal of 100 per cent.

A new government could jeopardise this, BZE claimed, so presenting the facts about energy efficiency is important to prevent any dubious policy changes.

The group is already looking to bring out a new Buildings Plan soon, which will outline ways in which energy efficiency measures can be ramped up in structures through the country.

"Fast reductions in emissions are possible by seizing the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency, and by building renewable energy right away," the group claimed.

One of the most essential parts of this is making sure the RET isn't tampered with to make it less effective, something which fossil fuel lobbyists are trying their hardest to do.

BZE highlighted how important it is to ensure they don't succeed, claiming energy efficiency and renewable energy already have traditional power sources trapped in a "pincer movement".

"Let's make sure they don't wriggle out of this one!" the organisation stated.

Posted by Bob Dawson

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