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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Excerpt from press conference
Main Committee Room, Parliament House, Canberra
Thursday, 28 July 2005
Well thank you ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you to Your Excellencies, the ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of India, Japan, the United States of America, China and Korea; my ministerial colleague Ian Macfarlane. We’re here today to announce that as we gather here that in Laos, in Vientiane, that the Foreign Minister and the Deputy Secretary of State of the United States and representatives of the nation’s represented here at the table are signing an historic partnership on clean development and climate change. I think the historic nature of this is underscored by the fact that here today we have the representatives of nations that represent approximately half the population of the world, approximately half the economies of the world, and, by their very nature, nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions on the globe.
The world has been searching for many months now - some would say ‘years’ - for a practical technology based realistic and achievable way of addressing climate change in an economically efficient way, in a way that also addresses the human development needs of the world and particularly poor people of the world and people who are living in abject poverty and who face loss of life through disease or malnutrition that a process of addressing the human development needs while we address the expanding energy needs of the world but also this problem of climate change can be done in this way. This partnership is quite practically speaking the most important step that the world has taken towards achieving that goal from Australia’s point of view. We need a practical partnership that engages technologies, that engages both developed and developing countries, and sees investment in technology development and deployment both in the developing and the developed world. This is a partnership that builds on and is complementary to the Kyoto Protocol; it is a group of nations that are committed to working within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; a group of nations who share the view that economic development is absolutely vital to human development and building the maximum capacity for the development of human beings across the planet, and that we know that energy expansion will be a part of that but that an expansion of greenhouse gas emissions cannot be part of that. That we do in fact need cuts to our greenhouse gas emissions, that technology is the only solution to that - developing new technologies, deploying existing technologies and deploying them across the globe. That is why this partnership is so historic. This is why the partnership marks today in history as a day of unbridled optimism about the future in addressing climate change.
We believe as a government that we can address climate change if we work in practical partnerships and the countries that are represented here today that have worked for so long to build this new partnership, and will begin work today on the practical implementation of it, can together make the difference the world needs on climate change. We will welcome, in the future, new partners to this partnership; we will announce initiatives flowing from this partnership; it is all about practical action to reduce climate change and to do it in a way that is economically efficient, that sees an expanding world economy with a lower greenhouse footprint.
Can I say that the first ministerial meeting of the partnership will occur this year, later this year, in Australia when we will welcome Ministers from the participating nations, and of course that will be the next substantial step in the building of this partnership.
Could I please invite my ministerial colleague, Ian Macfarlane, to address issues from the industry perspective and then I will ask my diplomatic friends and colleagues to make short addresses on behalf of each of their nations.
Photographs: related images are available from the photo gallery