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

17 November 2006

Poverty and Climate Change – Technology to Tackle Both


Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies can help developing nations fight poverty and climate change at the same time, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell told a meeting at the United Nations annual climate change conference in Nairobi today.

Speaking at the Ministerial event during the conference, Senator Campbell said that clean energy initiatives, including renewables, have a vital role to play in meeting the development and environmental needs of developing countries.

“Australia’s neighbourhood includes nine of the world’s fifty least developed countries,” he said. “These are also the communities likely to be most affected by climate change, which will make it even harder to tackle poverty in these areas.

Helping to provide affordable, accessible and reliable energy to these communities is a vital step towards economic development and reducing poverty.

“In many cases, renewable energy is the best energy solution, particularly for remote communities.

“Innovative Australian Government programmes such as Bushlight are demonstrating that renewable energy systems can be installed in remote locations and local community members can learn the skills needed to maintain them. These are lessons which can be applied in many parts of the world where reliable power supplies are currently not available.

“Australia is using both aid and clean development initiatives to help countries in the Asia Pacific region. Our participation in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) is a key part of our practical international action on climate change and is helping to promote sustainable development in our region.

“Through this public-private partnership, we are working with other countries and with businesses to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout our region.”

Australia led the establishment of a Regional Secretariat for REEEP for the South East Asia and Pacific Region. The Secretariat has set priorities such as providing electricity to small villages, education and training and increasing access to financial assistance.

“If the world is going to respond effectively to the global threat of climate change, developing and developed countries have to work together to take real actions, and ensure that low emission technologies are deployed right around the world.

“Through programmes like REEEP, the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), and a range of bilateral climate change partnerships, Australia will continue to work with other countries to take climate change action that is good for the global environment and that will put developing countries further on the path towards sustainable development.”

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

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