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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

Government Listens to Business Views on Long-term Climate Change Actions


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

Media Contacts:
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


Organisations Invited to the Business-Government Climate Change Dialogue - April 14

  1. Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia
  2. Australian Aluminium Council
  3. Australian Bankers Association
  4. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  5. Australian Coal Association
  6. Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association
  7. Australian Fluorocarbon Council
  8. Australian Gas Association
  9. Australian Industry Group
  10. Australian Institute of Petroleum
  11. Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating
  12. Australian Institute of Company Directors
  13. Australian Liquified Petroleum Gas Association
  14. Australian Paper Industry Council
  15. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
  16. Australian Trucking Association
  17. Automobile Association of Australia
  18. Business Council of Australia
  19. Business Council for Sustainable Environment
  20. Cement Industry Federation
  21. Electricity Supply Association of Australia
  22. Energy Users Association of Australia
  23. Environment Business Australia
  24. Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
  25. Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers
  26. Housing Industry Association
  27. Insurance Council of Australia
  28. Master Builders Australia
  29. Minerals Council of Australia
  30. National Association of Forest Industries
  31. National Farmers Federation
  32. Plantation Timber Association of Australia
  33. Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association
  34. Property Council of Australia
  35. Renewable Energy Generators Association and Renewable and Sustainable Energy Roundtable
  36. The Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities
  37. Tourism Task Force
  38. Cattle Council of Australia
  39. Grains Council of Australia
  40. Fertilizer Industry Federation of Australia
  41. Australian Council for Infrastructure Development
  42. Australian Industry Greenhouse Network observer

Working group Chairs

Commonwealth of Australia