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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
8 December 2005
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today released a comprehensive summary of the policies and measures Australia has implemented to tackle climate change.
Senator Campbell presented Australia’s Fourth National Communication on Climate Change to the United Nations at the Climate Change Conference currently being held in Montreal.
"This report demonstrates the breadth of action Australia has already taken to deal with the challenges presented by climate change," he said.
"This action includes partnerships with industry across all sectors of our economy to reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions, measures to help communities adapt to the potential impacts of climate change, scientific research that has enhanced global understanding of climate change, and participation in a broad range of international forums to progress practical action on climate change.
"The initiatives this Government has introduced – together with actions taken by state, territory and local governments, business and the community – put Australia at the forefront of global climate change action.
"We have a record of which we can be proud and we remain committed to working with our international partners in responding to this complex issue."
The Fourth National Communication also outlines the opportunities and constraints Australia faces in seeking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, including our geography, demography, economic structure, trading relationships, and energy production and consumption profile.
"Australia faces many unique challenges on the climate change front given our size, the fragile and diverse nature of our environments, our political structure, and the energy intensive nature of our economy," Senator Campbell said.
"These factors do make us vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and that is why the Australian Government has moved early and moved strongly to reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions – already investing around $1.8 billion in our climate change response."
Senator Campbell, together with Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew, has hosted a meeting of the Umbrella Group in Montreal - a coalition involving the US, Japan, Russia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland and Ukraine, with shared interests across many aspects of the international climate change agenda.
Signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are required to periodically report on the progress they are making in meeting their international obligations to respond to climate change. The ‘national communications’ are then independently reviewed by the UNFCCC secretariat and other member countries.
A review of Australia’s 2002 national communication rated Australia’s climate change measuring and monitoring practices among the best in the world.
For further information: www.greenhouse.gov.au/international
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434