United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia (Part 1)

Plenary Session ? Enhancing energy efficiency to address air pollution and
atmospheric problems, combat climate change, and promote industrial development
Tuesday 2 May 3:00pm ? 6:00pm
Australian Statement ? Energy efficiency ? labelling and standards
Helen Grinbergs (Australian Greenhouse Office)
The Australian Government recognises the benefits of more efficient use of energy and
energy assets, including the contribution it can make to lowering greenhouse gas
emissions, improving productivity and enha ncing energy security. One of the most
successful measures we have applied in Australia has been minimum energy performance
standards for appliances.
In 2000 the Australian Government took the approach of matching our standards with
world?s best regulatory practice in order to meet trade objectives as well as improved
energy efficiency and greenhouse abatement outcomes. Australia is a small market and
imports the majority of its consumer products, which generally are designed for the
European or Asian markets. As a small market there is a danger that if we set our
performance criteria too high, suppliers may simply opt out of this market, including
Australian manufacturers looking to compete domestically and globally. This is why the
policy to match the performance of the best in the world makes more sense for Australia
at the current time.
Most recently Australia has been active in working with other countries and multinational
industry to establish an agreed world best regulatory practice, under the banner of a
communities of practice. Australia sees benefit in minimising variations through aligning
global energy performance standards as far as possible and as a result minimising for
industry the costs of implementing energy performance standards for a range of globally
traded products and helping avoid creating a divide between developed and developing
countries where less efficient products may be redirected to developing countries which
do not have a viable standards and labelling scheme.
Our experience suggests it is possible to reduce unintended trade barriers imposed by
differing national and regional standards under a community of practice. While the
economic circumstances of differing countries will impact on their capacity to set the
same performance standard, it is possible for a set of aligned efficiency levels to be set
within global performance standards and labelling schemes that take account of country
specific factors such as energy process, climatic factors and broader energy policy
considerations (eg. energy self-sufficiency) while still working towards alignment over
In May 2005 we launched in china the International CFL Harmonisation initiative. This
initiative is supported by more than 80 participants from 20 different organisations and 13
economies. Those included in the initiative have agreed on 5 general priorities for
moving towards a harmonised test method and a number of performance requirements for
CFL?s to aid testing comparisons and facilitate trade; and to call upon others in the
international community top contribute to this common goal over coming years. Work on
this initiative is ongoing ? the international working group has created a website to aid in
sharing of the work we are undertaking: http://www.apec-esis.org/cfl/www/
In conclusion, we have learnt that it is not enough to just develop new technologies to
improve energy efficiency ? they need to be supported by sound national policy
frameworks and international goodwill. They need strong technical support and well as
policy support; and they need to be accessible, available, cost effective and reliable.