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

CNN News

Friday, 29 July 2005

Climate change pact

Senator Campbell:


We're joined now by the Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell. Mr Campbell, welcome to the program. Before we talk about that meeting, let's talk about this pact. Does this pact in effect replace the Kyoto protocol or do you want it to work in tandem with it?

Senator Campbell:
No, very much in tandem with it. The Kyoto protocol covers nations with about 15 per cent of the world's emissions. The partnership that we've formed with the US and China, India, Japan and Korea yesterday signed in Laos by our Foreign Minister and the Deputy Secretary from the US - that covers about 50 per cent of the world's population, about 44 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions globally, so it can be very complementary to the Kyoto protocol and I think allows the world to be very optimistic about the future and our potential to save the climate.

Now the strategy of your six-nation group is to cut greenhouse gas emissions without hurting the economy or development, by developing technologies. What kind of clean technologies do you hope to develop?

Senator Campbell:
Well there's a lot of existing technologies, we don't want to be technology-specific. I think something that works for China or India may not necessarily work in Australia, but by forming a really strong partnership between those nations we can develop technologies, deploy existing technologies, and work together to ensure that while we build our economies - and you do need strong economies if you're going to attack climate change. We do need strong economies if we're to address poverty and death through malnutrition in Sub Sahara in Africa and in the Asian region generally, you need growing economies, you're going to need more energy, but the science tells you, you are going to have to substantially reduce greenhouse gases while you do that and that's why technology's important. So developing geosequestration, developing gasification of coal, cleaner coal technologies, making sure renewables, such as solar and wind energy can be deployed in an economically efficient way - this is what the partnership is going to be about. I think it's very exciting, I think we should be very optimistic about this. But it really does help to build on the good work done by many of the nations within the protocol, within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change - this is very complementary, and I think a great day for those of us who care so deeply about the world's environment.

Now this Asia Pacific partnership achieves something that the Kyoto treaty was not able to achieve and that is, as you mentioned just now, bringing the two biggest polluters in the world, two big developing countries - India and China - into the fold, but how does your group plan to enforce, to look after India and China and make sure that they are on the right track, making the moves necessary to eventually bring down emissions?

Senator Campbell:
Well, we are going to have to see a whole range of new stationary energy facilities or powerhouses built in China and India, not to mention in America and Australia and Japan and Korea. We're also going to have to replace a lot of existing powerhouses so the best way to do that is to ensure that as we replace that existing stock that we do so with the very best new technologies and the only way to do that in an economically efficient way is to share the burdens of developing the technologies and the deployment of them.


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