September 24, 2007 19:25 ET

WWF Canada: Council of Energy Ministers to Make or Break Canada's Climate Performance

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) - Energy Ministers negotiating Canada's first-ever energy efficiency plan at their Council meeting today in Whistler, B.C. hold the key to delivering Canada's climate change solutions for Kyoto and beyond, according to WWF-Canada. The conservation group is calling for an ambitious, coordinated plan that dramatically improves energy efficiency economy-wide, slashes energy use, and reduces greenhouse gases.

"Saving energy is the fastest, cheapest, most effective way to fight climate change. Patchy and weak efficiency requirements make Canada the least energy efficient industrialized economy on the planet." said Julia Langer, Director of Global Threats, WWF-Canada.

The European Union recently adopted an energy efficiency plan referencing over 70 energy-saving measures, which individual countries must adopt to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020. Along with renewable energy, reducing energy demand is their key to meeting Kyoto commitments and to further, deeper GHG reductions.

Each of the provinces, territories and the federal government have some energy efficiency initiatives in place, and many are scaling up. Still, the average European uses half the energy the average Canadian does; energy waste is rampant.

The key tools to achieve efficiency improvements are: strict, legally-enforceable energy performance standards applied to buildings, transport, equipment, appliances, and power generation; appropriate and effective financial incentives to manufacturers and consumers; and clear information/labelling.

"A collection of nice efficiency measures does not add up to a plan to maximize Canada's energy, cost-saving and climate-saving potential. A firm target and regulatory and financial investment in efficiency rather than new supply is urgently needed," said Langer.

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