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

8 December 2006

Australia and South Africa formalise climate change partnership


South Africa and Australia have set the foundations to work more closely on climate change, with the signing of a Letter of Intent by South African Minister for the Environment, Marthinus van Schalkwyk and Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Senator Campbell said this agreement set in place a formal partnership for future action and cooperation.

“The two countries will work together to act on important issues such as climate change adaption in the agriculture sector, the relationship between climate change and biodiversity and monitoring and reporting greenhouse emissions,” Senator Campbell said.

“It will mean our two countries can exchange experiences on climate change policies – particularly clean coal technologies and regulatory and institutional frameworks.

“If the world is to successfully address climate change, all countries will need to work together to share knowledge and expertise, take practical action and make massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions according to differing national circumstances.”

The Letter of Intent formalises the agreement first announced by Australia and South Africa at the May 2006 meeting of the UN’s Commission for Sustainable Development.

It also builds on the work already completed at the partnership’s first government business workshop in Pretoria in August.

Senator Campbell said the bilateral partnership was part of Australia’s ‘multi-track’ approach to climate change, which involved working with developed and developing countries to address the global challenge of climate change.

“Australia is actively engaging in the UN Climate Change Convention, pushing for a more comprehensive approach involving all major emitters. We are also taking practical action to reduce greenhouse emissions at home and in cooperation with partner countries,” Senator Campbell said.

“Our many bilateral partnerships and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate are key parts of our ‘multi-track’ approach.

“Through these partnerships, the Australian Government is supporting real projects develop and deploy low emission technologies and practices in conjunction with partner countries.”

For more information on Australia’s climate change partnerships, visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/international

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia