CEFC welcomes ClimateWorks research on a low carbon economy for Australia

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trackingprogress_overview30 July 2013: The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has welcomed ClimateWorks’ new major research project, Tracking Australia’s Progress towards a Low Carbon Economy. CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the ClimateWorks research provided a crucial benchmark for Australia, highlighting areas of the most effective activity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and analysing the factors driving that success.

“This is the first time national data across economic sectors has been collected in a comparable way, and as such, it is a foundation for tracking Australia’s progress.”

The ClimateWorks report explored:

  • whole-of-economy changes – over the past decade, noting there has been no growth in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions despite economic growth of 31 per cent between 2002- 03 and 2011-12;
  • the power sector – emissions intensity of grid-supplied electricity generation has decreased, as a result of a 14 per cent decrease in black and brown coal generation since 2003-04;
  • industrial sectors – emissions intensity has been decreasing, with a large increase in energy efficiency activity, lower overall emissions intensity of electricity used, and improvement in the emissions intensity of processes in the aluminium and cement industries as well as reduced the growth in fugitive emissions;
  • the built environment – the energy intensity of Australia’s buildings has decreased slightly between 2002-03 and 2010-11, led by improvements in building efficiency standards as well as energy efficiency of equipment, appliances and lighting as well as more residential solar generation;
  • forestry, agriculture and waste sectors – overall emissions fell by 32 per cent from 2002-03 to 2010-11, due to large reductions in deforestation and increases in plantation forestry, as well as increased capture of waste gas from landfills and wastewater.

ClimateWorks found many projects with high upfront costs would not be implemented due to the high degree of uncertainty and difficulties in attracting finance. This helped point to areas where the CEFC could play a unique role, catalysing private sector investment funds and working with other government programs to produce significant energy savings and cost-effective abatement over years to come.

“These findings highlight the importance of the CEFC’s unique ability to catalyse change. They document the results realised by programs formerly funded by Low Carbon Australia, now integrated into the CEFC, in helping uptake of low carbon technologies across the commercial property, industry and manufacturing sectors,” Mr Yates said.

“For example, carbon abatement resulting from Low Carbon Australia’s investment in lighting, street lighting and air-conditioning technologies is predicted to increase almost fivefold over four years to 2014. The CEFC can deliver these sorts of outcomes at nationally significant scale.”

Mr Yates said the potential for the CEFC to achieve these transformations nationally represented a tremendous opportunity for the Australian economy and for an efficient and highly productive low carbon future.

Download the ClimateWorks publications from here.

About the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The CEFC is a legislated fund dedicated to investing in clean energy. Under its enabling legislation, its investment activities will be funded through a special appropriation of $2 billion to a special account every year for five years, commencing from 1 July 2013.

The CEFC’s investment objectives are to catalyse and leverage an increased flow of funds for the commercialisation and deployment of Australian-based renewable energy, low emissions and energy efficiency technologies, thus preparing and positioning the Australian economy and industry for a carbon constrained world.

The CEFC will mobilise public and private sector capital and skills for this public policy outcome.

By working with private sector co-financiers, the CEFC aims to both leverage the total amount of funding available and to enhance the expertise and capacity of the financial sector to fund clean energy.

The CEFC invests in organisations and projects using ‘clean energy technologies’ as well as manufacturing businesses that focus on producing the inputs required. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 excludes investment in technology for carbon capture and storage, nuclear technology or nuclear power. The CEFC makes its investment decisions independently, based on rigorous commercial assessments.

About ClimateWorks

In 2007, the Myer Foundation and Monash University realised that Australia needed a new approach to drive action on climate change. One that understood the interests of business, government and investors and was trusted to be an independent, credible adivsor in Australia’s transition to a prosperous low carbon future.

That’s why they partnered to create ClimateWorks Australia – an independent, research-based, nonprofit organisation committed to catalysing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Since then, ClimateWorks has built a reputation as a trusted, credible and fact-based broker by working in partnership with leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors.

With strong links to the US-based ClimateWorks Foundation, ClimateWorks Australia also benefits from an international network of affiliated organisations that support effective policies for greenhouse gas reduction.

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