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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

18 December 2002

Living with Climate Change - National Conference


The Howard Government will this week sponsor a national conference in Canberra on climate change, Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, stated today.

Around 150 business and community leaders, government officials and scientists will focus on the possible impacts of climate change on Australians and adaptation strategies. Climate change could potentially affect Australia’s water supply, agricultural production, flooding and stormwater management, coastal erosion, biodiversity, increases in pest species and diseases, insurance cover and premiums and tourism.

“Climate change could affect all Australians. The projected impacts are far reaching, touching most sectors of the community,” Dr Kemp said.

“Adaptation to the impacts of climate change will require an understanding of projected effects on regions within Australia, sectors of economy and society. It is imperative that Australia be prepared and have a plan of action on ways to respond to climate change impacts and adaptation.

“Effective adaptation can minimise the costs of climate change impacts, it may also deliver opportunities to Australia which we need to identify and realise,” Dr Kemp said.

The conference is part of a wide-ranging dialogue on climate change instigated by the Commonwealth Government in August, which also includes consultation with business and State and Territory Governments.

In August, Dr Kemp and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane met with key industry leaders as part of the inaugural Government-Business Climate Change Dialogue.

Five business working groups were formed and are currently examining greenhouse response options with regard to energy and resources, energy-intensive manufacturing, transport and transport infrastructure, agriculture and land management and cross-sectoral issues.

These groups will provide advice to the Commonwealth Government in March 2003 on issues and options that will guide the development of a long-term greenhouse strategy for Australia. This advice will be the focus of a subsequent Government-Business Roundtable in April or May next year.

Commissioned by the Commonwealth Government, Living with Climate Change, An Overview of Potential Climate Change Impacts on Australia, is a publication outlining the possible affects of climate change on Australia, and will be released at the conference.

The conference is presented by the Commonwealth Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office in collaboration with the four academies, the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia.

For more information about climate change issues or to receive a copy of the Living with Climate Change publication visit the Australian Greenhouse Office web site www.greenhouse.gov.au or free-call the AGO Infoline on 1300 130 606.

Media contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Commonwealth of Australia