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Sustainable Energy Policy Leaves Community Waiting

Sustainable Energy Policy was released on 29th September (http://bit.ly/rb96Kk) and we responded with this;

The release of the Sustainable Energy Policy 2010-2020 provides no clear direction for the ACT’s climate energy future and is a missed opportunity, climate organisation Canberra Loves 40% said today.

The policy did not answer enough questions about what the ACT’s energy mix will look like in the next ten years and what measureable outcomes will be taken to achieve a step-change in emissions reduction, which is a disappointment in the context of the ACT Government’s 40% emissions target.

“While Canberrans eagerly wait for Government leadership to take up the fantastic opportunity the 40% emissions target brings to establish a long-term sustainable plan for the ACT, the sustainable energy policy comes up short,” Canberra Loves 40% spokesperson Phoebe Howe said.

“Whilst the document provided important aspirational goals for the ACT, there were very few measurable outcomes described. The report relies upon the impending release of ‘Weathering the Change II’, the ACT climate change policy, and many questions are left unanswered about the central role energy plays in our emissions.”

“This represents a disappointing missed opportunity from the ACT Government, particularly given the need for a strong energy policy in the context of our ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target.”

Ms Howe also expressed confusion at the lack of real actions to achieve Canberra’s 40% by 2020 Greenhouse Gas emission reduction target in policy.

“Last year the ACT legislated for the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the country,” Ms. Howe said.

“This was a significant step for Canberrans who want to see the ACT lead on climate change. However we still have no clear idea of the Government’s plans to meet this essential target. This target is ambitious, and requires comprehensive policy that tackles energy, transport, and other emissions sources together.

The target is a fantastic opportunity to look at our planning for the future, and make wise decisions that cut across the traditional, yet artificial, divides that typically separate energy from other aspects of sustainable urban planning. Yet the sustainable energy policy makes no mention of a sustainable vision for Canberra’s urban planning. “This means the community will have to keep waiting for real leadership in the policy of ‘Weathering the Change II’.”

“The policy also discusses the potential use of new gas-fired electricity generation, which seems like a wasted investment for a city that will be emissions neutral by 2060.”

“Though the policy gives a good picture of essential issues such as energy affordability, and management of energy pricing and supply, a vision for a real sustainable energy future is lacking and the community will have to keep waiting for real leadership in the policy of ‘Weathering the Change II’,” Ms. Howe concluded.

For further comment contact Phoebe Howe, spokesperson of Canberra Loves 40% on 0449 617 669, or media@love40percent.org.

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