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ECan welcomes Energy Strategy

Published: Thu 14 Dec 2006 09:35 AM
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ECan welcomes Energy Strategy
Environment Canterbury has welcomed the Government’s draft Energy Strategy, saying it takes a long-term view (to 2050) at the main areas New Zealand will have to look at to meet our energy challenges.
ECan chairman, Sir Kerry Burke says as a regional council, Environment Canterbury can strongly contribute to the national objectives set out in the strategy. “We are looking forward to submitting on the discussion document and we will certainly focus on regional deliveries in implementing many aspects of the strategy. Regional councils are already busying themselves with issues like energy efficiency, low emissions power and heat initiatives and low carbon transport options (all listed as strategy action areas) - so I’ll expect that regional councils in general and Environment Canterbury in particular will be in a strong position to deliver on national expectations.”
He says the strategy addresses resilient low carbon transport in depth and proposes that over the next 15 years, transport policies should allow for an increasing proportion of bio-fuels in the country’s fuel mix. “It seems that we can expect decisions on a minimum bio-fuels sales obligation and the development of necessary legislation to provide implementation, very soon,” he says.
The strategy also states that there’s a growing sense of urgency that action must be taken to address the global challenge of climate change. The chairman of Environment Canterbury’s Energy portfolio, Cr Richard Budd says the country will seriously have to start thinking about actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we are to meet our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. “As the strategy points out transport is the real challenge and it’s a sobering thought that the transport section is set to grow by 35 percent in the next two decades,” he says.
Electricity supply security also features very strongly in the draft strategy. Cr Budd says he’s looking forward to seeing what the government has in mind when it considers further options to improve the security of supply and electricity generation capacity. “We will also be interested to see how the Energy Efficiency Strategy, expected to be released tomorrow, ties into this,” says Cr Budd.
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