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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

Part transcript of media interview at COP 6 (resumed), Bonn,
July 18, 2001

Re - Green groups allege that Australia has proposed a workshop to reopen the entire Kyoto debate


Journalist: Now can we just clarify this workshop issue. Now are we proposing this, did Australia propose this?

Hill: There was a draft text at The Hague calling for another meeting on policies and measures to be held between that meeting and the next COP. And a number of countries put in proposals based for that meeting on policies and measures, including Australia.

Journalist: And you proposed what for that meeting to discuss?

Hill - Well it discusses what it's been discussing in the past. The Kyoto Protocol encourages parties to collaborate and cooperate (..inaudible.. ) on policies and measures. It was the alternative to what Europe wanted which would have been fixed policies, everybody achieve their targets through the same set of policies and measures. Kyoto decided not to do that but nevertheless to encourage countries to cooperate. So we've been doing that now for some years. So we talk about our greenhouse program at home, what we think are the strengths and weaknesses, what we've learned from the experience, and others do likewise and we learn from each other's experience. So it's an ongoing process and will continue probably for the next hundred years.

Journalist - But the green groups are saying that effectively by proposing it now that the US has declared Kyoto dead, that you're talking about alternatives to Kyoto?

Hill - But they misunderstood. Well A; We didn't propose it, we were doing what we were invited to do, and B; policies and measures is not a decision of this COP. They've confused it with the flexibility mechanisms. They got it wrong.

Journalist: So it's basically us sharing how we do it in Australia. inaudible.

Hill: Yes, yes, and we contributed to the last meeting which was held in Copenhagen and apparently everybody said it was a great success and that's why they want to continue doing it.

Journalist: So it's not a question of saying before we've even started, Kyotos dead and .

Hill: It's not linked into any decision on the agenda at this meeting. They got it wrong, they got it mixed up with the flexibility mechanisms.

Journalist: Were they happy with your explanation on that, I was saying before we haven't seen a retracting statement from them on that?

Hill: (laughter) I think that would be a bit too embarrassing. But they seemed to understand it when I explained it to them.

Date: 19 July 2001
Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 08 82377920 or 0419258364

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