Energy saving action a good step, climate white paper is next challenge

Environment groups today welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of improvements to the Energy Saver Incentive scheme and registration rebates for low-emission vehicles, but warned that the upcoming Climate Change White Paper would need larger scale action to slash greenhouse pollution.

Media Release, 14 July, 2010

Environment groups today welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of improvements to the Energy Saver Incentive scheme and registration rebates for low-emission vehicles, but warned that the upcoming Climate Change White Paper would need larger scale action to slash greenhouse pollution.

“Environment groups have called for the successful Energy Saver Incentive scheme to be increased and extended to the commercial sector, and we’re pleased to see the government delivering this today,” said Environment Victoria CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator noted that the first stage of the program had been widely recognised as a success, helping households save energy and money.

“Energy efficiency must be a key plank in any action to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse pollution, and this announcement will help Victorian households and businesses reduce their greenhouse footprint, and save money while they’re at it,” he said.

However, the groups also stressed that the real test of the Victorian Government’s commitment to climate action would come when the rest of the Climate Change White Paper is released later this month.

“The White Paper will need to include big actions that meet the scale of the challenges we face.  That means committing to clean up our energy supply, and replacing our dirtiest power stations like Hazelwood with clean energy,” she said.

Friends of the Earth campaign coordinator Cam Walker said the Climate White Paper should adopt the One Million Homes plan launched by a new alliance of social and environmental groups earlier this week.

“Providing comprehensive green-makeovers to One Million Homes over five years is the kind of big action we need to see from the government in the Climate Change White Paper,” said Mr. Walker. “Today’s announcement takes us a step closer to this aim, and the government should build upon this to help households across the state save pollution and save money,” he said.

“The Government must also deliver a whole of government Climate Change Bill which sets ambitious emissions reductions targets and is benchmarked on the Climate Change (Scotland) Act, " he said.

Ms. O’Shanassy said that Environment Victoria was pleased to see the Government increase rebates for registration of hybrid and electric cars, but called for the rebates to apply to all fuel efficient cars.

“To really help Victorians buy cars that use less petrol, they need to extend the rebates to all fuel efficient cars, as many Victorians would rather buy efficient small cars than more expensive electric or hybrid vehicles.”

For interview contact:

Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria                0421 054 402

Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth                           0419 338 047