The state’s peak environment group has joined the union campaign to stop the sale of the state’s electricity industry and has called on the NSW government to defer the decision until there is more certainty around climate change obligations.
“There should be no sale of our electricity system until we know what national and international climate change targets we need to achieve, and how we will achieve them,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
“The Rudd Government is expected to introduce laws this year requiring Australia to drastically cut emissions and provide certainty as to how emission cuts will affect the electricity industry. It would be foolhardy to sell off our power generation assets while such uncertainty exists.
“Privatising the electricity industry could lock us into years of rising greenhouse emissions. Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, private electricity companies will have one objective – to sell more of their product.
“The rationale behind privatisation is flawed because, given climate change, we should not be investing in new baseload power. Instead there should be massive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to reduce our greenhouse emissions.
“The Iemma Government would be undermining all attempts at reducing Australia’s greenhouse emissions by seeking more fossil fuel-powered electricity. We cannot afford to use more polluting energy, at a time when we need to be reducing our emissions to tackle climate change.
“The sale of the state’s energy utilities has huge implications for future energy use and should at least be deferred until there is more certainty around emissions trading, carbon pricing and international climate change obligations,” Ms Faehrmann said.