HomeIndustry SectorsEnergy EfficiencyGovernments must legislate clear energy efficiency targets

Governments must legislate clear energy efficiency targets

Swedish energy giant
Vattenfall intends to
burn woodchips in
its efficiency drive
Cancun, Mexico, — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 06 December, 2010 – Governments are missing out on an easy opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions by not legislating clear energy-efficiency targets, say corporate executives

Reducing energy consumption through more efficient power plants, buildings and vehicles is still the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but projects are often hampered by unclear policies from governments, said various speakers here at a business forum on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference.

Energy efficiency advocates say that up to half the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions recommended by scientists to avoid a sharp increase in global average temperatures, can be accomplished through efficiency measures.

Delegates from 194 countries are in Cancun trying to advance the global agenda to tackle climate change. But with many thorny issues expected to be left unresolved, efficiency advocates are urging individual governments to act.

"The building industry holds the greatest abatement opportunity today," said Jane Henley of the World Green Building Council. Carbon emissions from buildings are projected to double from their 1990 levels by 2020 without policy changes, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Clearer targets on efficiency would help businesses make decisions, said Clay Nessler, vice president of global energy for Johnson Controls. He added that many managers were reluctant to invest in efficiency projects because of uncertainty over returns and a lack of capital.