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

19 May 2006

Australian chosen to lead major global climate change action group

Head of the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Office, Howard Bamsey, has been appointed as co-chair of new international talks on future climate change action.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, welcomed the appointment saying this was clear evidence that Australia not only had a seat at the international table battling climate change, but is indeed leading the way.

“At the United Nation’s annual climate change conference held in Montreal last December, the world recognised the need to begin discussions about effective long-term cooperative action on climate change,” Senator Campbell said.

“The ‘Dialogue on Long-term Cooperative Action on Climate Change’ which Mr Bamsey has been asked to co-chair is the first step in discussing and thinking about future global action post-2012.

“The Kyoto commitment period ends in 2012, but the world’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions must continue well beyond this date.”

The Future Action Dialogue will look at how to further strengthen international cooperation to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases and to respond to climate change impacts.

It will discuss a range of possible approaches including incentives for developing countries to mitigate climate change, cooperation on research and development, and transfer of cleaner technologies.

“Mr Bamsey is eminently qualified for this task, having been involved in international climate change negotiations for more than a decade.”

Senator Campbell said while Australia was not a major contributor of global greenhouse gas emissions, our expertise and constructive approach to addressing the challenges of climate change is being well recognised.

“Australia contributes just 1.4 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – for example, if we turned of all power stations in Australia, the greenhouse gas emissions would be completely replicated by the fast growth of China in just 11 months.

“As well as being an active member of the United Nations Climate Change Convention and a leading member of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, Australia is one of a select number of countries that has been invited to participate in the G8 dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development.

“I will be attending a Ministerial meeting of the G8 dialogue in October, one of a number of major international climate change meetings I will be attending this year,” he said.

Media contact:
Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640

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