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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp
New Zealand Minister for Energy
Convenor of New Zealand Ministerial Group on Climate Change
The Hon Pete Hodgson MP
7 July 2003
Australia and New Zealand have agreed to strengthen practical cooperation on ways of addressing climate change.
The partnership was formally announced today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, the Hon. Dr David Kemp, and the Convenor of New Zealand's Ministerial Group on Climate Change, the Hon. Pete Hodgson.
Dr Kemp said climate change is a long-term challenge that faces all countries.
"Australia and New Zealand are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and we are also aware of the particular risks from climate change for our neighbours in the Pacific," Dr Kemp said.
"This new partnership will help us focus on concrete ways to address climate change, particularly in our region."
The Ministers agreed the partnership strengthens the extensive cooperation that already exists between Australia and New Zealand.
"This partnership is a further demonstration of both countries' commitment to meeting the challenge of climate change," Mr Hodgson said.
"Australia and New Zealand share a mutual interest in working towards a more effective global response to climate change."
The details of the partnership will be further developed over the coming months, however the Ministers today agreed on a number of possible areas for action including:
The Ministers said there would be opportunities for business and scientific organisations to be directly involved in the partnership.
Australia and New Zealand are signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Both countries are strongly supportive of effective international action to address climate change and work together on areas of common interest, as indicated in their shared membership of the 'Umbrella Group' in international negotiations.
New Zealand ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 10 December 2002. The Climate Change Office is leading the policy development process and the coordination of climate related activities domestically. Further information can be found at www.climatechange.govt.nz.
Australia is committed to meeting its Kyoto target and has a comprehensive domestic climate change program. The Australian Government is also developing a long-term forward strategy on climate change. Details of Australia's greenhouse programmes can be found at www.greenhouse.gov.au.