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Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon. Dr David Kemp
28 February 2003
This morning in Melbourne, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, opened a national conference on climate change, presenting the case for a truly global response to greenhouse and reiterating the Howard Government's commitment to climate change action.
Around 150 business leaders, government officials and academics have gathered at the conference to explore alternatives to the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions on a world-wide basis.
Presented by the Institute of Public Affairs, and sponsored by the Government, Beyond Kyoto: Economic Impacts and Alternative Mitigation Strategies focused on technological-based solutions in exploring alternative approaches to greenhouse gas abatement.
"The projected impacts of climate change for Australia are far reaching, touching most sectors of the community," Dr Kemp said. "Australia needs an effective global response to help Australia manage the risks posed by climate change."
"We remain committed to the 108% greenhouse target agreed to at Kyoto.
"The Government's $1 billion greenhouse abatement program is on track to deliver about 60 million tonnes annually in emissions reductions - the equivalent of taking all passenger cars off Australia's roads.
"However, the Kyoto Protocol will make only a modest contribution - around 1% - to reducing the growth of global greenhouse emissions when science warns the world needs 50% to 60% cuts by the end of the century.
"That is why the Howard Government is committed both domestically and in international forums to achieving effective global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is time to look well beyond Kyoto.
"As promised last year, the Government is working actively with business, government at all levels across Australia and with the wider community to develop a climate change policy framework that will take Australia into the decades, and not just the years, ahead.
"We will deliver a forward strategy on climate change for Australia covering the next twenty to thirty years that takes full account of our particular national circumstances such as our high rates of population and economic growth that are among the fastest in the developed world, a strong natural resource base to the economy, and no reliance on nuclear power," Dr Kemp said.
Dr Kemp stated that it remained in Australia's interest to have an effective international response to climate change and that Australia will continue to work in international forums and to cooperate with international partners to address climate change.
Media contact: Catherine Job 0408 648 400