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Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
27 February 2002
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced that he had established the Australian/US Climate Action Partnership. (See details in the attached joint statement by the Australian and US Governments.)
"All of the US representatives I met were keen to work with Australia on practical climate change measures," Dr Kemp said.
"Australia and the US have a lot in common in their approach to climate change. Many of the measures we have adopted are similar and close cooperation offers mutual advantage.
"The partnership will focus on practical approaches towards dealing with climate change. It will focus on such issues as emissions measurement and accounting, climate change science, stationary energy technology, engagement with business to create economically efficient climate change solutions, agriculture and land management, and collaboration with developing countries to build capacity to deal with climate change.
"I am confident that Australian industry will respond enthusiastically to the opportunities this presents as will our science and technology communities. My department will coordinate this effort and lead a high level delegation of Australian officials to put the practical partnership arrangements in place in the near future.
"The US has a critical role in addressing climate change and is a key partner for Australia as we continue our strong domestic climate change program. Just as Australia has continued to play a constructive role in negotiations on implementation of the Kyoto agreement, working closely with the US at this practical level is an important part of Australia's desire to play a constructive role internationally on climate change.
"Australia remains committed to working to meet its Kyoto targets, regardless of whether the Protocol comes into effect internationally. The Howard government has committed $1 billion to reaching this objective.
"I will continue seeking to further Australia's constructive international role at talks in Brussels later this week," Dr Kemp said.
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Following is the text of a joint press statement released today by Australia and the United States.
"The governments of Australia and the United States today announced an agreement to establish a Climate Action Partnership. The agreement was reached following meetings on climate change held in Washington this week by Dr. David Kemp, Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, with senior members of the U.S. Administration, including: EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Francis Blake, Deputy Secretary of Energy, and Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs.
The U.S.- Australia Climate Action Partnership will involve the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy and the US Department of State and their Australian counterparts.
The initial meeting will be coordinated by Dr. Kemp and Under Secretary of State Dobriansky.
The partnership will focus on practical approaches toward dealing with climate change.
Informal working groups will involve officials, under senior-level leadership, from the US Departments of Commerce, Energy and State and the US Environmental Protection Agency, and their Australian counterpart agencies, as well as research bodies and industry. They will focus on such issues as emissions measurement and accounting, climate change science, stationary energy technologies, engagement with business to create economically efficient climate change solutions, agriculture and land management and collaboration with developing countries to build capacity to deal with climate change."