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

12 January 2006

Asia-Pacific Partnership sets new path to address climate change


The inaugural meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate was held in Sydney on 11 and 12 January 2006.

The historic meeting involving Ministers and business representatives from the six founding members Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and United States, agreed on a ground-breaking new model for international climate change and energy collaboration.

The outcomes of the Partnership's inaugural meeting have redefined the way climate change, energy security and air pollution will be addressed in order to encourage economic growth and development.

The Asia-Pacific Partners are large, fast growing economies that represent around half the world's emissions, energy use, GDP and population. The Partnership complements other global climate change initiatives.

In his opening address to the inaugural Asia-Pacific Partnership Ministerial meeting, the Prime Minister noted that Partnership countries have invested many billions of dollars to address climate change. Australia alone has invested $1.8 billion already in addressing climate change, including $500 million for low emissions technologies and over $200 million for renewable energy initiatives.

The Prime Minister announced that on top of this commitment the Australian Government will invest a further $100 million over five years to deliver practical outcomes by supporting Australia's involvement in clean development projects, capacity building activities and our on-going role in the Partnership.

In recognition of the significant commitment to the development of renewable resources announced in Australia's 2004 Energy Statement, 25 per cent of the further $100 million investment will be specifically earmarked for renewable projects.

The six-country Asia-Pacific Partnership recognises that technology collaboration, long term commitments and significant investments are needed to tackle the sustainable generation and use of energy. Acceleration of technology, especially low emissions technology, collaboration between governments, business and research organisations to foster innovation and to implement practical, achievable, economically sustainable solutions to climate change are essential to a sustainable solution to climate change.

A distinctive feature of the Partnership is the unprecedented way business, government and researchers will work together to achieve the Partnership's objectives.

Energy and environment ministers from the six countries met with over 120 senior business representatives from the electricity, mining, aluminium, cement, steel, finance and renewable sectors.

This is the first time that industry has been afforded such an opportunity in global climate change discussions. The outcomes were unique and included:

The Asia-Pacific Partnership established eight government and business taskforces on (1) cleaner fossil energy; (2) renewable energy and distributed generation; (3) power generation and transmission; (4) steel; (5) aluminium; (6) cement; (7) coal mining; and (8) buildings and appliances.

Work under the Partnership will commence immediately with the meeting of the Policy and Implementation Committee and business representatives on Friday to discuss the work of the taskforces and set deliverable milestones.

Australia will lead the taskforce on cleaner fossil energy. It is a reality that fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of the world's energy needs for the next century. Clean technologies will therefore be a critical part to the overall solution to our climate change problems.

Australia will also chair the aluminium taskforce, co-chair the renewable energy and distributed generation taskforce and play a leading role in the buildings and appliances taskforce.

Asia-Pacific Partnership Ministers today agreed and released a:

Asia-Pacific Partnership Ministers agreed to meet again in 2007.

Copies of the Asia-Pacific documents released today can be obtained from www.dfat.gov.au.

See also:

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