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Joint Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
21 August 2002
The inaugural Government-Business Climate Change Dialogue successfully concluded in Canberra today; mapping out the way forward for identifying and delivering long-term solutions on greenhouse.
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane, announced that industry views would be further developed over the next nine months, with a view to delivering a report to Government in May 2003.
The Howard Government also proposes to consult later this year with the National Environmental Consultative Forum on future greenhouse strategies. These meetings have resulted from the Forward Strategy on Greenhouse announced by the Government last Thursday.
Today’s industry participants, representing a broad range of sectors and business interests, attended the roundtable discussion with Ministers and have welcomed the Government’s commitment to a broad consultation process to develop the long-term strategy for cutting greenhouse emissions.
“This morning’s meeting will accelerate real action on climate control issues, both from a domestic and an international point of view,” said Stephen Anderson, Executive Director of the Australian Fleurocarbon Council.
Executive Director of the Australian Paper Industry Council, Belinda Robinson said, “This meeting was a watershed initiative in moving towards a genuine government-industry partnership on climate change policy.”
The Australian Ecogeneration Association (AEA) was also supportive. “It’s important to develop a national framework to guide investment in sustainable energy and this morning is a good start,” said Ric Brazzale, Executive Director of the AEA.
“The Government is putting it’s money where its mouth is to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions,” added Brian Horwood of the Minerals Council.
“I congratulate the Government on this initiative and support their commonsense approach on the greenhouse issue,” said Mr Ollie Clarke, Chairman of the Australian Gas Association.
Five working groups comprised of key business representatives have been formed to advise the Government on long-term strategies and approaches for greenhouse. The groups will examine the areas of energy and resources, energy-intensive manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and land management, and cross-sectoral issues.
The Government is seeking business perspectives on how to achieve further abatement, especially those related to technology solutions and foundations for longer term response; cost effective abatement opportunities; economic adjustment and avoidance of long term emissions lock-in and balancing policy flexibility and investment certainty.
We are also looking to identify key strategies to reduce Australian industry’s potential exposure to the impacts of greenhouse response, in particular through the take-up of emergent technologies.
Business is also being asked to look at strategies for adaptation to any climate change that is already unavoidable due to carbon emissions over the last century.
A second roundtable meeting will be held in April/May 2003 to consolidate the views of the working groups.
Through engaging business at this pivotal point in Australia’s greenhouse response, with latest emissions projections showing we are within striking distance of the 108% target agreed to at Kyoto, the Government will be well placed to develop the policy framework needed for the next twenty to thirty years.
The Government has made clear that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is not in Australia’s interests.
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.
We want to enable Australia to cost-effectively meet its target of 108% and contribute to effective long-term action, taking into account the benefits and costs of any national, regional or sectoral impacts of climate change.
As announced last Thursday by the Government, 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.
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 form a strong platform on which to develop Australia’s forward strategy.
Refer to attachments for details on the attendees for the Government-Business Dialogue.
Catherine Job Dr Kemp’s office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Kirsty Boazman Mr Macfarlane’s office (02) 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444
Organisations Attending the Climate Change Dialogue as at 21 August 2002
|Australian Aluminium Council|
|Australian Bankers Association|
|Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry|
|Australian Coal Association|
|Australian Eco Generation Association|
|Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association|
|Australian Fluorocarbon Council|
|Australian Gas Association|
|Australian Industry Group|
|Australian Institute of Petroleum|
|Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating|
|Australian Liquified Petroleum Gas Association|
|Australian Paper Industry Council|
|Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association|
|Australian Trucking Association|
|Automobile Association of Australia|
|Business Council of Australia|
|Cement Industry Federation|
|Electricity Supply Association of Australia|
|Energy Users Association of Australia|
|Environment Business Australia|
|Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries|
|Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers|
|Insurance Council of Australia|
|Master Builders Australia|
|Minerals Council of Australia|
|National Association of Forest Industries|
|National Farmers Federation|
|Plantation Timber Association of Australia|
|Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association|
|Property Council of Australia|
|Renewable and Sustainable Energy Roundtable|
|The Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities|