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Joint Press Release
The Hon. John Howard MP
Prime Minister of Australia
&
The Hon. Alexander Downer MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
&
The Hon. Ian MacFarlane MP
Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
&
The Hon. Ian Campbell MP
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

28 July 2005

Australia joins new Asia-Pacific partnership on clean development and climate


We are very pleased to announce that the United States, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia have agreed to form the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

The partnership brings together key developing and developed countries in the region to address the challenges of climate change, energy security and air pollution, in a way that strives to encourage economic development and reduce poverty.

The partnership is a significant step forward as it establishes a new path for global agreements to emerge based on clean technology development and deployment which are effective and comprehensive in addressing climate change. While Australia contributes only 1.4 per cent to world emissions, taken together the founding countries encompass around half of global greenhouse emissions, the world's population and energy consumption. The founding countries will consider ways to include other like-minded and interested countries.

The partnership is consistent with our efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and will complement, but not replace, the Kyoto Protocol.

Today the six founding countries released a Vision Statement for the Partnership at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Vientiane which states that countries will work together to:

This vision is consistent with the approach articulated in the Australian Government's Climate Change Strategy and Energy White Paper. The partnership complements the commitments made by the Australian Government in its election policy document A Sustainable Australia to promote an effective and pragmatic approach to climate change that builds on key partnerships within the region, promotes collaboration between Australian businesses and researchers and their regional partners, encourages technology partnerships and implements practical solutions to climate change that involves large countries.

We are pleased to announce that Australia will host the inaugural ministerial meeting of the partnership. Foreign, Environment and Energy Ministers from each member country will be invited to build on the principles in the Vision Statement. Discussions are already underway on the practical elements, including a work plan and a wide range of technology areas for possible collaboration.

The recent G8 announcement at Gleneagles also recognises the important role that technology will play in future global agreements on climate change. Australia will investigate ways to become involved in initiatives under the G8 Plan of Action. Australia will also play an active role in other international fora such as the ASEAN regional forum, APEC and the International Energy Agency.

Photographs: related images are available from the photo gallery


Vision statement of Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States of America for a new Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate

Development and poverty eradication are urgent and overriding goals internationally. The World Summit on Sustainable Development made clear the need for increased access to affordable, reliable and cleaner energy and the international community agreed in the Delhi Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development on the importance of the development agenda in considering any climate change approach.

We each have different natural resource endowments, and sustainable development and energy strategies, but we are already working together and will continue to work to achieve common goals. By building on th e foundation of existing bilateral and multilateral initiatives, we will enhance cooperation to meet both our increased energy needs and associated challenges, including those related to air pollution, energy security, and greenhouse gas intensities.

To this end, we will work together , in accordance with our respective national circumstances, to create a new partnership to develop , deploy and transfer cleaner, more efficient technologies and to meet national pollution reduction, energy security and climate change concerns, consistent with the principles of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) .

The partnership will collaborate to promote and create an enabling environment for the development, diffusion, deployment and transfer of existing and emerging cost-effective, cleaner technologies and practices, through concrete and substantial cooperation so as to achieve practical results. Areas for collaboration may include, but not be limited to: energy efficiency, clean coal, integrated gasification combined cycle, liquefied natural gas, carbon capture and storage, combined heat and power, methane capture and use, civilian nuclear power, geothermal, rural/village energy systems, advanced transportation, building and home construction and operation, bioenergy, agriculture and forestry, hydropower, wind power, solar power, and other renewables.

The partnership will also cooperate on the development, diffusion, deployment and transfer of longer-term transformational energy technologies that will promote economic growth while enabling significant reductions in greenhouse gas intensities. Areas for mid- to long-term collaboration may include, but not be limited to: hydrogen, nanotechnologies, advanced biotechnologies, next-generation nuclear fission, and fusion energy.

The partnership will share experiences in developing and implementing our national sustainable development and energy strategies, and explore opportunities to reduce the greenhouse gas intensities of our economies.

We will develop a non-binding compact in which the elements of this shared vision, as well as the ways and means to implement it, will be further defined. In particular, we will consider establishing a framework for the partnership, including institutional and financial arrangements and ways to include other interested and like-minded countries.

The partnership will also help the partners build human and institutional capacity to strengthen cooperative efforts, and will seek opportunities to engage the private sector. We will review the partnership on a regular basis to ensure its effectiveness.

The partnership will be consistent with and contribute to our efforts under the UNFCCC and will complement, but not replace, the Kyoto Protocol.

Commonwealth of Australia