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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
A Joint Statement with the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
The Hon Alexander Downer, and the Minister for Resources and Energy,
Senator the Hon Warwick Parer
9 March 1997
Australia has strengthened its hand in climate change negotiations in Bonn this week.
"Australia has made real progress in gaining recognition of the need for differentiated equitable emissions targets for each developed country," the Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer and the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, said today.
Australia has argued that fairness and equity, through the differentiation of emissions targets, are essential for an effective outcome on climate change.
"Australia has been successful in putting differentiation firmly on the agenda for Kyoto."
Current negotiations are scheduled to complete a new climate change agreement by the Kyoto conference in December 1997.
Earlier this week, the European Union proposed a reduction target of 15% on 1990 levels by 2010, applied uniformly to all OECD countries and to the EU collectively.
"Our assessment is that this target is unrealistic and unachievable for the EU, as well as other OECD countries" the ministers said.
It was significant for Australia and other countries supporting differentiation that the EU position is built on differentiated targets for each EU member state to take account of individual country circumstances.
The EU identified targets for each EU member state ranging from reductions of 30% below 1990 levels by 2010 to increases of up to 40% above 1990 levels.
The ministers said that Australia welcomed this recognition by the EU that differentiated targets for individual countries are necessary for them to address climate change.
It is inconsistent for the EU to deny others the same opportunity for equitable differentiation.
The Ministers said the progress achieved in Bonn was a good basis, but there was a long distance to go until Kyoto. The climate change negotiations are complex and Australia will need to work hard to achieve a fair and sustainable outcome.