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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Joint Statement
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

26 April 2004

Joint Statement of the United States and Australia Following the Fourth Meeting of the U.S.- Australia Climate Action Partnership

Washington, D.C.
April 26, 2004

Following is the text of a joint statement released by the U.S. and Australia following the fourth meeting of the U.S. - Australia Climate Action Partnership in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2004. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, and senior State Department officials met with Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and senior Australian officials to discuss progress under the Partnership.

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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, David Kemp, and United States Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, met today in Washington to review developments under the United States-Australia Climate Action Partnership (CAP).

Minister Kemp and Under Secretary Dobriansky said they were pleased with the progress being made under the Partnership. The Partnership demonstrates the benefits of bilateral cooperation in achieving practical outcomes to address climate change.

The Climate Action Partnership has nineteen projects underway covering technology development (including renewable energy, carbon sequestration, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and clean coal technologies); energy efficiency; and climate change science.

The parties announced that they will enhance their cooperation on renewable energy under the Partnership, noting the important role renewable energy could play in meeting future energy needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Australian renewable energy industry representatives are planning missions to the United States in May and August this year, which are expected to lead to the development of additional joint projects.

At the meeting, the parties noted the importance of involving business in both project development and implementation. For example, Australia and the United States are collaborating on the three synthetic greenhouse gas projects being undertaken by the Australian private sector. One of these involves an Australian company that is developing a technology to convert surplus ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases into commercially useful plastics, such as high temperature and pressure gaskets used in engines.

They noted that giving waste products a commercial value provides industry with a further incentive to collect and return these substances rather than emitting them into the atmosphere.

Other projects involve testing new air conditioning technology in trucks and developing and testing the environmental and energy performance of innovative new commercial refrigeration technologies being developed in Australia.

Minister Kemp and Under Secretary Dobriansky agreed that the Partnership is an effective catalyst for practical joint action to address climate change. They noted that the partnership had also contributed to broader international efforts to address climate change, such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and the International Partnership on the Hydrogen Economy and that they look forward to continued progress in this important bilateral partnership between the United States and Australia.

Fact Sheet

The Australian and United States Governments established the Climate Action Partnership in February 2002 to focus on practical actions to address climate change. It involves the U.S. Departments of State, Energy and Commerce, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and their Australian counterparts.

Work is currently under way on 19 projects under six themes - 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.

Substantial progress on clean coal and geosequestration is also being made through Coal 21 initiative, and geosequestration through the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum. Collaborative efforts on climate change science are strengthening our knowledge of climate change and improving the quality of scientific advice underpinning policy development.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, and United States Energy Secretary, Spencer Abraham, discussed future actions relating to cleaner and more efficient energy under the Climate Action Partnership during Mr. Abraham's January 2004 visit to Australia.

The Australian Government is taking action at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels as part of its strategy to help build an effective global response to climate change that includes all major greenhouse gas emitters. It is currently pursuing bilateral cooperation on climate change with the United States, China, New Zealand, Japan, and the European Union.

Please note: East Coast of USA is 14 hours behind Canberra

Commonwealth of Australia