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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
13 November 2002
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today met with the National Environmental Consultative Forum (NECF), to discuss the Government's forward strategy on climate change action.
Today's discussions are part of a wide ranging dialogue on climate change which began in August 2002 and also includes consultation with business and State and Territory Governments.
The Government is seeking perspectives from business and across the community on how to achieve further greenhouse emissions abatement.
Since August, five business working groups have been formed and are currently examining the areas of energy and resources, energy-intensive manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and land management, and cross-sectoral issues.
Dr Kemp stated that working with environmental groups was an effective way of reaching the community and it was these groups that were well placed to advise on how best to educate and motivate households to take greenhouse action.
"With households contributing 20 per cent of Australia's greenhouse emissions, it's important that the NECF continues to advise the government on practical ways that we can assist households to cut emissions," Dr Kemp said.
"This work builds on the productive working relationship already established between the Government and environmental NGOs through the Cool Communities initiative."
Cool Communities is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the household sector, with twenty-two Cool Communities across the nation receiving support from the Federal Government and assistance from environmental NGOs from each State and Territory.
"The views aired today will also help to inform the Government's long term policy on climate change and I welcome the constructive input I have received from the environment organisations on this important issue."
"We will continue to develop and invest funding in domestic programs to meet the target agreed to at Kyoto of limiting greenhouse emissions to 108% of 1990 levels over the period 2008 – 2012 but we are now acting on the need for Australia to focus upon the longer term," Dr Kemp said.
"Australia's forward strategy on climate change will underpin the future direction of climate change policy in this country and I am delighted that all sectors of the community are committed to working collaboratively on achieving greenhouse gas abatement."
The Government has made it clear that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is not in Australia's national interests at this time.
As announced in August, four elements will underpin the development of Australia's forward climate change strategy:
"Already, Australia is in the forefront of efforts by nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases with the Commonwealth investing almost $1 billion on greenhouse response," Dr Kemp said.
"These programs will deliver about 60 million tonnes annually in emissions reductions by the end of this decade, and build on our innovation support in areas such as renewable energy and alternative fuels.
"These actions together with the valuable input from business, states and territories and the wider community form a strong platform on which to develop Australia's forward strategy on climate change."
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400