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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon. Ian Macfarlane

11 May 2004

Greenhouse programmes strengthened with an additional $70.3 million

The Howard Government is investing $463.6 million over the next four years in a significant strengthening of its climate change programmes.

A $70.3 million new funding boost will build on existing commitments. The Government's $463.6 million investment includes $260 million for eleven new measures that will limit Australia's greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a strong and competitive economy.

Spending by the Australian Greenhouse Office in 2004-05 will be $116.6 million — an increase of $19.5 million over 2003-04. $2.6 million is also being provided to the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) in 2004-05 for the continued administration of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET). The 2004-05 Budget takes the Howard Government's total funding allocated for climate change measures to more than $1 billion.

The Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mr Ian MacFarlane, said the 2004-05 Federal Budget would reinforce the foundations of the long-term fight against climate change.

"Since it came to office, the Howard Government has provided leadership, both domestically and internationally, in the response to climate change," Dr Kemp said.

"Through its Safeguarding the Future and Measures for a Better Environment packages, the Government introduced a broad range of world-first climate change programs.

"We have achieved major successes through these programs — successes that are delivering significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and have us on track to meet our internationally agreed target."

With the 2004-05 Federal Budget, the Government's response to climate change is being upgraded to deliver a sharply focused and integrated group of measures in five key strategic areas to lay the foundations for a longer-term strategy.

The Government will invest $463.6 million over the next four years in:

"We are strengthening our partnership with industry — building on the success of Greenhouse Challenge and delivering an expanded industry partnership program," Dr Kemp said.

"We are reinforcing the enthusiasm of local governments and individual communities through building on 'local action' initiatives such as the Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia, Cool Communities and Travel Demand Management programs.

"We will make new investments in the development and deployment of emerging low emissions technologies, and will promote the uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures," Minister Macfarlane said.

The Howard Government's refocused and expanded climate change strategy will for the first time contain measures to identify and help vulnerable industries and communities prepare for and adapt to the potential impacts of climate change.

"Australia's scientists are renowned for their contribution to the science of climate change. We will increase resourcing of our scientific community to better understand the causes, nature, timing and consequences of climate change," Minister Macfarlane said.

On the international front, the Howard Government has reconfirmed its commitment to meet its internationally agreed greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and will continue to press for a more effective, inclusive and long-term global response to human-induced climate change.

"This Budget reinforces and increases our contribution to the global policy agenda. We will expand our bilateral partnerships through practical and effective climate change action with key strategic countries," Minister Macfarlane said.

Details of climate change measures under the 2004-05 Federal Budget are attached.

Federal Budget 2004-05 - $463.6 million for climate change

Emissions management

Low emissions technology and abatement

$26.9 million to encourage technologies that reduce energy demand and emission intensity of supply at a local community level, as well as in business and the electricity sector. The energy intensive nature of Australia' s economy means that we must seek out cost-effective ways to improve the efficiency of current technologies while also enabling new low emission technologies to be part of the longer-term solution to climate change.

Action on energy efficiency

$27.4 million for action on energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is currently the most cost effective approach to abatement and delivers real economic benefits. Through this measure, the Government will work with industry, business, the community and all levels of government to increase the uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities that will reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce energy demand, and improve Australia's competitiveness.

Enhanced industry partnerships

$31.6 million to continue the Government's partnership with industry to reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions. The measure will build on the success of the Greenhouse Challenge and deliver an expanded industry partnership program that integrates greenhouse issues into business decision making, will reduce greenhouse emissions, and accelerate the uptake of energy efficiency.

Local Greenhouse Action

$13.8 million to support local government, communities and individual households in reducing their emissions. The measure builds on the highly successful Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia, Cool Communities and Travel Demand management initiatives to enhance the ability of local governments to work with their communities to reduce emissions, particularly in the areas of energy use, transport and waste.

Greenhouse action in regional Australia

$20.5 million to work with the agriculture and land-management sectors to measure greenhouse gas emissions and take effective action to manage those emissions. This measure recognizes the potential vulnerability of rural communities to the effects of climate change. It will deliver an integrated suite of activities including a targeted agricultural emissions program, incentives for greenhouse sinks, and strategies to integrate greenhouse gas abatement into other regional priorities such as natural resource management planning.

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator

$10.6 million for the continued administration of the Government's Mandatory Renewable Energy Target which will secure 9,500 gigawatt hours of additional renewable energy electricity by 2010.

Existing emissions management programs

$203.6 million for greenhouse technology projects that will support existing renewable energy programs such as the Remote Renewable Power Generation Program and the broader-based Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program.

International engagement

International climate change policy

$22.6 million to underpin the Australian Government's work in building a global response to climate change that is environmentally effective and economically efficient, involves all major emitters (including the US and developing countries), and takes into account different national circumstances. Key activities include supporting multilateral negotiations and processes; engaging developing countries to build their capacity to take action on climate change; and expanding key bilateral partnerships to encourage practical climate change action.

Impacts and adaptation

National Climate Change Adaptation Program

$14.2 million to prepare all spheres of government, and vulnerable industries and communities for the consequences of climate change that is already occurring and will occur. The program will deliver a national assessment of economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change across Australia; help in the development of effective and targeted adaptation strategies; promote research and provide targeted information to industry sectors and regions; and encourage the integration of climate change issues into key policies and programs across vulnerable sectors.

Science and measurement

Climate Change Science Program

$30.7 million to improve our scientific understanding of the causes, nature, timing and consequences of climate change to better inform industry and government decision making. Australia is already internationally recognized for the quality of its climate change science. This measure will continue to build that expertise, in particular in understanding the key drivers of climate change in Australia, improving modelling of climate variability and change, developing regional climate change projections, and enhancing international research collaboration.

Emissions measurement and analysis

$33.1 million to enable Australia to continue to fulfil its international reporting commitments. The initiative will provide for the ongoing production of data and analytical tools to inform business planning and policy decision making. Robust emissions measurement and analysis will continue through the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, National Greenhouse Gas Projections and Emissions Analysis and world-class National Carbon Accounting System.

Strategic policy response

$28.5 million to advance whole-of-government action on domestic greenhouse policy issues, including the industrial, environmental, economic and social implications of climate change. The measure will help ensure climate change issues are integrated into broader government policy making, and will support initiatives to promote community awareness of climate change.

Commonwealth of Australia