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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

Senator the Hon. Nick Minchin
Minister for Industry, Science and Resources

NEW BLUEPRINT FOR GREENHOUSE ACTION


26 November 1998

Environment Minister Robert Hill and Industry, Science and Resources Minister Nick Minchin have unveiled a new blueprint for national action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Greenhouse Strategy is the result of cooperative efforts by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments.

The Strategy provides a menu of actions which can be implemented by governments as part of the national effort to meet our Kyoto commitments.

It focuses action on three fronts:

improving our awareness and understanding of greenhouse issues
limiting the growth of greenhouse emissions and enhancing greenhouse sink capacity, and
developing adaptation responses

Senator Hill says the strategy will send a strong message to the international community that Australia is playing its part.

"There is now a broader understanding in the international community that Australia is taking urgent domestic action to limit the growth of our emissions.

"The Prime Minister's $180 million package of initiatives is the cornerstone of our efforts. This Strategy now sets down the framework to which the Commonwealth and State governments can work to in order to achieve the maximum benefit.

"The Strategy will allow economic development to proceed in a sustainable way while allowing Australia to meet its Kyoto commitments.

"In many ways the States and Territories have already taken up the global warming challenge. They supported our efforts to achieve a fair outcome in Kyoto and this Strategy will guide their own efforts to help us meet our commitments."

Senator Minchin says the involvement of industry is a central theme of the new National Greenhouse Strategy.

"Australian industry has already demonstrated its willingness to be involved in this national challenge.

"They have been quick to learn that good environmental practice can be good for a company's bottom line.

"The success of the Greenhouse Challenge program is a clear example of industry voluntarily playing its part.

"The new National Greenhouse Strategy will allow industry to build on that constructive role while not threatening Australia's international competitiveness.

"Industry will be able to continue to compete in international markets, creating wealth and jobs for Australia, while being a part of our national response to this challenge."

Senator Hill says part of the challenge will be to help the community become involved.

"We already have had a strong response from local governments to our expanded Cities for Climate Protection Program.

"The recent Climate Change Conference in Buenos Aires was told local governments in Australia were joining this program at a faster rate than any other nation.

"They will be central to our efforts of getting change at a community level.

"The National Greenhouse Strategy will also help guide new efforts to get every Australian involved. We need to get the message into every household that they can play a part simply by thinking about how they use energy."

Senator Hill and Senator Minchin have thanked the State and Territory governments for their support in developing the National Greenhouse Strategy and their commitment to ensuring its success.

Contact:
Matt Brown (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7640
Kate Schulze (Senator Minchin) 02 6277 7580

Commonwealth of Australia