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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

16 August 2004

Australia and China agree to further action on climate change

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced that Australia and China had agreed on six new projects to further practical action on climate change.

"Australia is working with China and other countries to take real action to combat climate change," Senator Campbell said. "A good example of this is a project that will explore how Australian and Chinese farmers can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop farming systems appropriate to a changing climate."

"The other projects I am announcing today will improve Australian and Chinese understanding of climate systems," said Senator Campbell. "Innovative Australian technology using satellite imagery will also be adapted to assist China to measure its emissions from the land."

The projects will be carried out under the Memorandum of Understanding on climate change cooperation signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, in Beijing today.

"The agreement builds on the Government's commitment to practical cooperation with other countries as an essential part of an effective global response to climate change," Senator Campbell said.

He said that the memorandum and joint projects were a major step forward in Australia-China climate change cooperation.

"To build on the good relationship that already exists, officials and several Australian companies will be meeting with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing next month to identify further opportunities, particularly with a business focus," Senator Campbell said.

Summary of initial projects agreed under the Australia-China Climate Change Partnership

1. Greenhouse and Land Management

This project will facilitate the development of new knowledge and technology for the measurement and abatement of greenhouse gases from agricultural systems, and that assist agricultural industries to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Collaboration will build Australia's and China's ability to develop and implement mitigation programs and will allow the development of a useful communication network between Chinese and Australian officials and research interest representatives.

2. Assistance with Compilation of Agriculture Emissions under China's First National Communication

Under this project, Australian and Chinese experts will work with Chinese data to build capacity for the development of an accurate inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in China. The work is focused on education and training to enable compilation of China's inventory under its first national communication.

3. Assisting National and Project Level Carbon Accounting in China

This project aims to develop China's capacity for measuring carbon emissions and sequestration from land systems. As part of the project, Australia will assist China to scope the requirements for developing a package similar to the National Carbon Accounting System to account for China's agricultural and forestry-based emission reduction and sink enhancement programs at the provincial level to an internationally credible standard.

4. Impacts of Land-use and Land Surface Processes on Regional and Global Climate

The Australia-Asia monsoon system has a dominant role in the regional and global climate system. This project will improve our understanding of the climate system affecting Australia and China, reduce the scientific uncertainty in global climate model simulations of future climate, and strengthen Australian and Chinese international engagement in climate change research activities.

5. Development of National Climate Change Strategies

This project will facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experiences on a range of climate change policy issues. This work will help to build capacity within China to address climate change and assist China in the formulation of a national climate change strategy.

6. Interaction between Australia and China on climate change modeling

This project will facilitate ongoing cooperation between Chinese and Australian experts to improve the technical rigour of both countries' modeling capability.

Commonwealth of Australia