Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts logo
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

Archived media releases and speeches

Disclaimer

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

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

26 July 2005

A Changing Climate: Planning our response


The Australian Government has taken vital action towards planning for the potential impact of climate change on vulnerable regions throughout the nation with a report released today by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

The document, Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability – promoting an efficient adaptation response in Australia provides a valuable insight into how early planning could help governments, industries and communities plan for the effects of climate change, adapt to the impacts and exploit any opportunities.

“The report tells us that some degree of climate change is inevitable because of the greenhouse gases already emitted to the atmosphere and the strong growth of global emissions,” Senator Campbell said.

“We know that our climate is already highly variable, making us vulnerable to future climate change caused by global greenhouse emissions. We need look no further than the economic and social impacts of prolonged periods of drought to understand the importance of climate.

“What governments, industry and communities need to do now is think more strategically about how to respond to the changes in climate that are likely over the next 20-30 years. This report is an important part of that process.”

Senator Campbell said the next step was to begin adaptation planning in key sectors and regions.

“The Australian Government has already announced a $14.2 million National Climate Change Adaptation Programme to help State and local governments, industry and communities plan for unavoidable climate change,” he said.

“These initiatives include research into the vulnerability of Australia's energy infrastructure and major cities and the development of guidelines and products to help stakeholders prepare adaptation plans.

“Ensuring we have the capacity to adapt to climate change is a central component of the Australian Government's climate change strategy, a $1.8 billion investment in practical and effective measures to tackle greenhouse gas emissions – initiatives which have our country on track to meet our Kyoto emissions target.”

Senator Campbell said Australia was taking a responsible approach to climate change by ensuring we had the capacity to adapt to it as well as limit its impact through initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Australian Government is strongly focused on reducing emissions at home and globally and it is equally important that we plan for unavoidable effects of climate change, as highlighted by this report,” he said.

A copy of the ‘Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Report' can be accessed at www.greenhouse.gov.au

Media Contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434


Saving the climate factsheet - Australian Government Initiatives

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management

Low Emission Technology Demonstration Fund

Total: $522.9 million
To support the demonstration of new technologies that minimise greenhouse gas emissions from Australia's energy sector.

Renewable Energy Development Initiative

Total: $100 million
The programme will promote the development of renewable technologies, systems and processes that have strong commercial and emissions reduction potential. Activities eligible for support includes research and development; proof-of-concept; technology diffusion; and early-stage commercialisation.

Solar Cities

Total: $75.2 million
Large-scale trials in a number of urban locations to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits through integrating energy market reform, planning and building design principles with the installation of solar energy and energy efficiency options.

Renewable Energy Storage

Total: $20.5 million
To support the development of advanced electricity storage technologies for renewable energy.

Wind Forecasting

Total: $14 million
To conduct public tender process to develop and install systems to provide accurate long-range forecasts for wind output.

Challenge Plus

Total: $31.6 million
To continue the Government's partnership with industry to reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions. It will deliver an expanded industry partnership programme that integrates greenhouse issues into business decision making, will reduce greenhouse emissions, and accelerate the uptake of energy efficiency. This programme also includes measures to control emissions from synthetic greenhouse gases.

Local Greenhouse Action

Total: $13.8 million
To support local government, communities and individual households in reducing their emissions. It will 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

Total: $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, recognising the potential vulnerability of rural communities to the effects of climate change. Activities will include a targeted agricultural emissions programme, incentives for greenhouse sinks, and strategies to integrate greenhouse gas abatement into other regional priorities such as natural resource management planning.

Action on Energy Efficiency

Total: $27.4 million
For action on energy efficiency which is currently the most cost effective approach to abatement and delivers real economic benefits. 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.

Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme

Total: $33.6 million
To reduce greenhouse emissions and improve air quality by funding 50 per cent of the incremental cost of the purchase, conversion or fuel systems upgrade of buses and commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonne gross vehicle mass to operate on CNG or LPG.

Low emissions technology and abatement

Total: $42.1 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.

Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme

Total: $243.6 million
The broader-based Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme aims to reduce Australia's net greenhouse gas emissions by supporting activities that are likely to result in substantial emission reductions or substantial sink enhancement, particularly in the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012).

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator

Total: $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.

Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme

Total: $205.9 million
The Renewable Remote Power Generation Programme provides financial support to increase the use of renewable energy generation in remote parts of Australia that presently rely on diesel for electricity generation. More than 4500 projects have been approved to date.

Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme

Total: $48.6 million
Competitive grants programme to foster the development of renewable energy industry and reduce greenhouse gases through grants for projects leading to commercialisation. This programme is fully committed, with 24 of 53 grants having been successfully completed to date.

Renewable Energy Equity Fund

Total: $18.9 million
To provide venture capital for small innovative renewable energy companies commercialising technologies. Australian Government funding is matched on a 2:1 basis by the private sector. Total private and Government investment to date totals $12.908 million with $3.573 million having already been returned to consolidated revenue through realised investment.

Photovoltaic Rebate Programme

Total: $40.4 million
To encourage the long-term use of photovoltaic technology to generate electricity from sunlight and increase the use of renewable energy in Australia. Cash rebates are available for grid-connected or stand-alone photovoltaic systems and are expected to fund about 8000 systems over the life of the programme. Funding was provided in the 2005-06 Federal Budget to extend the programme for two years.

International engagement

International Climate Change Policy

Total: 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, 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.

Foundation

National Climate Change Adaptation Programme

Total: $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 programme 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 programmes across vulnerable sectors.

Science and measurement

Climate Change Science Programme

Total $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 recognised 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

Total $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

Total $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. This 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