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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

5 July 2002

Government Sets New Benchmark for Renewable Energy

In a major boost for Australia's renewable energy industries the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced a new Commonwealth power purchase that will save almost 42,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions over the next three years.

"This is leadership on climate change in action," said Dr Kemp. "The Government is directly supporting the development of renewable energy industries and establishing a new benchmark for state and territory governments to match."

"The environmental impact of this new Commonwealth deal amounts to savings of almost 14,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions per annum or the equivalent of removing 1200 cars every year from Australia's roads."

"This is a tangible demonstration of the Howard government's commitment to work towards meeting our Kyoto target, regardless of whether or not the Protocol comes into effect internationally," Dr Kemp said.

The Australian Greenhouse Office successfully negotiated the agreement with ActewAGL that will provide an average of 8 per cent new green electricity consumption that is produced from renewable sources. The agreement, covering over 50 Commonwealth agencies, takes effect from 1 September 2002 for three years.

"Eight per cent from September this year far exceeds the recent, highly promoted Victorian Government objective of achieving 5 per cent of its electricity from green power by 2005/6," Dr Kemp said.

Two Commonwealth agencies, the Australian Greenhouse Office and Environment Australia, are taking the lead by agreeing to purchase 100% new green electricity.

"The new contract demonstrates this Government's commitment to greenhouse gas abatement and has been achieved while also producing annual savings of approximately $2 million per annum from the current contract price," said Dr Kemp.

"Renewable energy is a key element of the Commonwealth's climate change policy and shows we are in the front pack of countries doing their part to combat the effects of greenhouse emissions."

The agreement with ActewAGL Retail Ltd, the Canberra-based energy trading subsidiary of ACTEW and AGL covers 53 Commonwealth Agencies involving 176 sites within the ACT.

Media contacts:
Dr Kemp's office: Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Australian Greenhouse Office: Melanie James (02) 6274 1859 or 0419 690 516
ACTewAGL: Michelle Heins (02) 6248 3126 or 0414 515 359

Commonwealth of Australia