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

6 April 2006

Business gets behind climate change action

Leading Australian businesses have acknowledged their crucial role in delivering an effective response to climate change, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Senator Campbell welcomed a report from the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, The Business Case for Early Action, which highlights that climate change is an important issue for business.

He agreed with findings in the report that business has a pivotal role in delivering an effective response and said climate change was one of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

“I’m encouraged to see six of Australia’s leading companies – representing a cross-section of the Australian economy – identifying climate change as a serious long term issue presenting risks and opportunities for business,” Senator Campbell said.

“I share the Roundtable’s concerns about the threat of climate change and the need for an effective global and national response.

“The Australian Government is playing its part, both internationally and domestically. We are investing almost $2 billion in action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are pursuing a comprehensive range of initiatives to better understand the drivers and impacts of climate change, and the best ways to respond. These actions through all sectors of the economy have Australia on track to meet its Kyoto target.”

Senator Campbell said the Roundtable agreed with the Australian Government that technology is an essential part of the solution, and that innovation and investment in emerging and breakthrough technologies must be encouraged.

“New technologies will lay the foundation for our transition to a low emissions future. The Australian Government’s $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund is a significant component of our national climate change strategy,” Senator Campbell said.

The Roundtable report has also drawn attention to the need to build resilience to the impacts of climate change throughout Australia and integrate adaptation into decision-making.

He said the Australian Government’s $14.2 million National Climate Change Adaptation Programme was helping state and local governments, industry and communities plan for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has also recognised the need for nationally coordinated work on adaptation. The Australian Government is working with the states and territories to develop a National Adaptation Framework for COAG’s review by the end of this year.

“I look forward to ongoing discussions and collaboration with the Roundtable members and the wider Australian business community, to ensure Australia’s actions continue to meet the climate change challenge,” Senator Campbell said.

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

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