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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment
9 July 1997
Australia will not be drawn into a global greenhouse gas emission reduction program which imposes significant and unfair costs on Australians, but will play its fair part.
Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in Sydney, Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has outlined why Australia is strongly committed to equitable reduction targets and will continue making good progress with domestic initiatives.
"The world needs a better greenhouse outcome and Australia wants to take action to meet its fair share of the responsibility and obligations arising from excessive greenhouse gas emissions.
"All Australian governments are committed to a demanding and rigorous approach to improving domestic outcomes, which in turn must be supported by efforts in every household.
"A key element of Australia's response will be the 1997 National Greenhouse Strategy which will provide a framework and fresh impetus for action into the next century.
"The strategy, now almost complete, will outline specific actions across a range of sectors including agriculture, energy, transport and urban planning, industry and waste.
"The Howard Government's decision to provide funding to local government under the Cities for Climate Protection Programme will also lead to significant emission reductions, particularly in urban areas.
"So far 128 enterprises have joined the Greenhouse Challenge program, and of these 42 have signed cooperative agreements with the Commonwealth, committing them to action plans to reduce emissions.
"Another 80 enterprises have signalled their intention to sign up.
"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, $330 million will be provided to protect and enhance native vegetation cover to provide substantial environmental benefits, including absorbing greenhouse gases."
Senator Hill says a strong domestic outcome is essential to Australia's international negotiating position in the lead-up to COP3 in Kyoto, Japan.
Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640
9 July 1997