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Figure 5.3 Billboards seen in Body Shop stores around the world

Box 5.2 Defining objectives for the MRET campaign

The MRET campaign began with two main objectives. The first was to reverse growing negative perceptions of wind energy and foster strong support within wind project stakeholders and the wider community. The second was to secure the MRET and then achieve a significant increase in its target and its effectiveness to deliver an internationally competitive renewable energy industry.

How did we arrive at these goals? At the time of preparing the campaign, two issues loomed large. The first was the review of the MRET legislation which created the possibility for an increase in the legislated target. The second was a measurable increase in the volume of objection to wind projects in the media.

In fact the two objectives were inextricably linked. We needed to win over the public as opposed to leaving anti-wind sentiment unchecked, and we also needed the public to be seen by decision-makers as supporters of renewable energy. These two goals would in fact reinforce each other, because it is easier to engage people and get them to be supportive when their decisions to do so are connected to an action. The obvious cause for the public was to tangibly support the bid for an increase in the MRET target.

Our second objective, which was initially to simply seek an increase in the MRET target, had to be expanded after a government review into energy industry restructuring; worryingly, it proposed to scrap the MRET scheme altogether in favour of carbon trading. This proposal reflected the availability of cheap short-term options for emissions reductions in the form of carbon sinks and energy efficiency. If the proposal to scrap MRET had been accepted, the carpet would have been pulled out from under the Australian renewables industry. Thus the second objective was updated to include the need to save MRET from extinction.

and allies typical to renewable proponents make it critical to engage the public. Therefore the objectives must touch members of the public in some way in order to build up the political capital of the industry and its proponents.

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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