The state’s peak environment group says the fact that the Premier’s Open Letter to the People of NSW about electricity reform fails to mention the environment or greenhouse gas emissions shows what little commitment the State Government has to combating climate change.
“It is appalling that the Open Letter does not address the impact of electricity privatisation on climate change and the state’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.
“The Australian community has indicated that the environment and climate change are key concerns for them yet Premier Morris Iemma omitted to inform the public about the environmental cost of the legislation.
“Any decision about NSW’s energy future must be informed by the part the electricity sector plays in generating greenhouse gas emissions. The State Government has done next to nothing to reduce emissions from its energy assets and private sector participation will reduce Government control to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Nature Conservation Council rejects the Premier’s message that privatised coal-fired power generation is the solution to the state’s power production needs.
“The Iemma Government must end the state’s reliance on coal-fired power. Figures suggest a new baseload power station could increase the state’s emissions by at least seven per cent at a time when urgent emission reductions should be a priority.
“It is also a fallacy to suggest that new investment in baseload power is needed to avert future blackouts. Research shows baseload alternatives to coal power can be achieved by more efficient energy use and renewable energy technologies.
“We urge the State Government to move beyond its token investment in renewable energy generation and acknowledge that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources offer substantial environmental benefits, competently contribute to meeting future power demand and provide investment opportunities for NSW,” Ms Faehrmann said.