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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
17 October 2006
Australia and China will undertake 11 new joint projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assist adaptation to climate change, improve coal mine safety and enhance climate change expertise in both countries, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.
Speaking from Beijing, where he is leading Australia's largest ever renewable energy and energy efficiency business mission to China, Senator Campbell said the projects, valued at more than $4 million, would be worth much more to the environment.
"Four of the projects aim to reduce the methane escaping from coal mines by capturing it and turning it into electricity. These projects use new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse emissions from mining operations, while also improving coal mine safety," Senator Campbell said.
"Other projects will help our agricultural industries adapt to climate change. One project will research the performance of important crops when there are higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, while another will look at the link between our monsoon systems in rainfall and drying trends.
"These 11 projects build on the good work already being done under the Australia-China Climate Change Partnership in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and emissions monitoring.
"The partnership is focused on practical actions that will make a real difference. These projects will benefit both countries by improving our knowledge of climate change and helping us to develop and deploy new technologies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
Senator Campbell and the Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Jiang Weixin, also signed a 'Statement of Intent' today, which provides the framework for future cooperation.
"Climate change is a global challenge and requires global solutions - that's one of the reasons why Australia and China have been working together on climate change since 2003.
"In signing the Statement of Intent, we are building on the strong spirit of cooperation between our two countries on climate change and are laying the foundation for future cooperation.
Background on each of the projects is attached. To check the Minister's latest media schedule while in China, or to download the latest photos, transcripts, and voice recordings, visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/international/china.
Jahda Swanborough 0448 838 557 (China)
Rob Broadfield (02) 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902 (Australia)