The current unsustainable practices worldwide in energy production and consumption have led to a plethora of environmental problems. Until recently environmental law largely overlooked the relevance of energy production and consumption; energy was seen to be of little significance to the advancement of sustainable development. This has changed since 2000 with the global concern attached to climate change, the publication by the United Nations of the World Energy Assessment and the detailed consideration given to this issue at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. Australia has been seen to be lagging behind the other major industrialised nations of the world in addressing sustainable energy issues.

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