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

8 December 2005

Minister calls for a fresh approach to climate change

Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has called on the international community to adopt a fresh and more flexible approach to tackling climate change that meets the range of circumstances of countries worldwide.

Addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, Senator Campbell said there was a wide diversity of views on the path forward, but a common recognition that we could only make meaningful global greenhouse gas reductions if effective action was taken by all major greenhouse gas emitting nations.

"Twenty-five countries account for approximately 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the national circumstances of each of these countries are different.

"A solution that suits Europe may not suit Asia, a solution that is acceptable to the Middle East may not suit the needs of the African States. The road to a successful outcome beyond Kyoto must not bypass the aspirations of these nations.

"A solution that imposes measures that limit the economic growth of developing countries will not be acceptable to those countries, particularly as they strive to lift many of their citizens out of poverty.

"We need fresh ways to share knowledge and policy best practice; fresh ways to develop and deploy clean, more efficient technologies; fresh ways to involve the private sector; and fresh ways to build on our progress in reducing emissions while securing sustainable development.

"In light of this diversity, Australia supports the President of the Convention’s current proposal to initiate discussions on long-term cooperation to address climate change."

Senator Campbell said the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate exemplified a fresh approach. It would accelerate the development and transfer of clean and low emissions technologies, and share best practice in a way that supported economic development and energy security goals. Australia regards the Partnership as being complementary to a range of international efforts.

"Australia is also participating in the new G8 Dialogue hosted by the United Kingdom in November, which provides a good opportunity for frank exchanges between parties."

Senator Campbell also called for countries to work together in adapting to the impacts of climate change.

"Climate change will have different effects in different countries, and will need tailored local responses. However, we can all learn from each others’ experiences.

"Australia is pleased that substantial progress has been made at this forum in shaping a five-year work programme on climate change adaptation. I thank the members of my delegation who have provided leadership on this important work."

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia