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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 Foreign Affairs and Trade
Alexander Downer

15 June 2004

Climate change - a long term plan


The Howard Government's Energy White Paper, Securing Australia' s Energy Future, establishes energy's role in the forward strategy on Climate Change.

Australia is on track to meet its Kyoto target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions in 2008 to 2012. From 1990 to 2002, Australia's greenhouse emissions grew by only 1.3%, while GDP grew by 47%.

This has been achieved through comprehensive and practical measures in the energy sector, as well as new legislation to control synthetic greenhouse gases, improved agricultural practices and waste management, and effective partnerships with industry to address all sources of emissions.

"Australia is implementing a targeted and cost-effective response to address greenhouse emissions. We are meeting our obligations while continuing to support strong economic growth," said Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp.

"Australia accepts the need for long-term reductions in our greenhouse signature, including significant long-term changes to the way we produce and use energy. Energy accounts for 68% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and is growing quickly," Dr Kemp said.

While the Australian Government sees no need to impose significant, economy-wide costs, such as emissions trading, in advance of a globally effective response emerging, the potential costs of future adjustments and long-term investments in energy assets make it prudent to prepare for change."

Australia's strategy for climate change focuses on five strategic areas:

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Alexander Downer, said"Australia will continue to actively participate in the effort to develop an effective global response to climate change.

The Kyoto Protocol is not an effective response. It does not include all of the world's largest emitters. And it can cause distortions leading investment to move to other countries without any global environmental benefits.

The Howard Government's strategy for future emissions abatement in the energy sector is based on:

Key elements of the strategy include:

Combined with existing government programmes, the White Paper brings funding for low-emission technologies to almost $1 billion.

"This strategy ensures that future emissions are sensibly managed, while providing more flexibility and lower costs in meeting future constraints," said Dr Kemp.

The new measures announced today are in addition to funding announced in the May Budget of $463.6 million over the next four years for:

White Paper details are available at www.pmc.gov.au/energy_future

Commonwealth of Australia