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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
The Hon Ian Macfarlane, MP
14 April 2003
The second Government-Business Climate Change Dialogue successfully concluded in Canberra today with Business presenting their views to Government on how Australia should respond over the coming decades to the challenge of climate change.
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mr Ian Macfarlane, announced that industry views would be considered alongside the views of States and Territories and the wider community.
The Government welcomed the diversity of views and ideas put forward by business and will be looking to make a decision in coming months about broad policy directions on climate change that takes into account this consultative process.
Today's industry participants, representing a broad range of sectors and business interests, attended the roundtable discussion with Minister Kemp and have welcomed the Government's commitment to including their views in the development of the long-term strategy for cutting greenhouse emissions.
Five working groups, comprised of key business representatives, presented their reports which covered business perspectives on how to achieve further abatement, especially those related to technology solutions and foundations for longer term response; cost effective abatement opportunities; economic adjustment and avoidance of long term emissions lock-in and balancing policy flexibility and investment certainty.
The working groups were formed following the first Roundtable held on 14 August 2002 to advise the Government on long-term strategies and approaches for greenhouse. The groups have examined the areas of energy and resources, energy-intensive manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, agriculture and land management, and cross-sectoral issues.
The best scientific data available show that climate change is a reality and, through engaging business at this pivotal point in Australia's greenhouse response, with latest emissions projections showing we are within striking distance of the 108% target agreed to at Kyoto, the Government will be well placed to develop the policy framework needed for the next twenty to thirty years.
The Government has made clear that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol at the present time is not in Australia's interests. We will continue to develop and invest funding in domestic programs to meet the target agreed to at Kyoto of limiting greenhouse emissions to 108% of 1990 levels over the period 2008 - 2012 but we are now acting on the need for Australia to focus upon the longer term.
We want to enable Australia to cost-effectively meet its target of 108% and contribute to effective long-term action, taking into account the benefits and costs of any national, regional or sectoral impacts of climate change.
As announced last August by the Government, four elements will underpin the development of Australia's forward climate change strategy:
Already, Australia is in the forefront of efforts by nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases with the Commonwealth investing almost $1 billion on greenhouse response.
These programs will deliver about 60 million tonnes annually in emissions reductions by the end of this decade, and build on our innovation support in areas such as renewable energy and alternative fuels. These actions form a strong platform on which to develop Australia's forward strategy.
Refer to attachments for details on the attendees for the Government-Business Dialogue. Working group papers are available for download from www.greenhouse.gov.au
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Kirsty Boazman Mr Macfarlane's office (02) 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444