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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
2 August 2001
Adelaide is today hosting local government leaders from around the nation at the 2nd annual Cities for Climate ProtectionTM Conference.
Opening the conference this morning, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone said improving the environment was the responsibility of all levels of Government, but local councils were uniquely qualified and situated to directly encourage 'green' households.
"Reducing greenhouse emissions is critical if we are to slow the human impact of climate change. Australia currently contributes 1.4% the world's greenhouse gases", Sharman Stone said.
"It is pleasing that over 60 councils from across Australia have chosen to participate in the conference and show their support for the environment. The 2-day forum is providing an excellent opportunity for council leaders to canvass new ideas for achieving greenhouse gas abatement.
"Councils will have the opportunity to learn from the successes of other councils and to work together to identify new solutions. This is crucial to reducing the 16 tonnes of greenhouse gas that is emitted by each and every Australian household annually".
Dr Stone said the conference theme of Local Leaders, Local Solutions reflected the important role local governments are playing in helping Australia to meet its international climate change commitments.
"Australian councils are among the most proactive councils in the world on climate change issues and I encourage them to continue to play an active role in our combined greenhouse action," Dr Stone said.
"The City of Port Phillip in Melbourne is utilising a world first 'Park and Path' lighthead that reduces electricity consumption by up to 80% - helping the bottom line of council and ratepayers, as well as contributing to our greenhouse reduction effort".
The Cities for Climate ProtectionTM program operates in 43 countries and is fully funded in Australia by the Commonwealth government. It is delivered through a unique partnership between the Australian Greenhouse Office and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).
The program is based on a milestone approach that assists councils to identify their emissions, set a greenhouse gas reduction goal and develop and implement an action plan to achieve that goal.
To date 137 Australian councils have signed on to the program, making Australia the fastest growing Cities for Climate Protection™ program in the world.
"We need all levels of Government, the community and industry working together to reach our greenhouse commitments, particularly following agreement in Bonn last week on a way forward for the Kyoto Protocol", Sharman Stone said.
"Participants in the Cities for Climate Protection program are truly embracing the principle of 'think global, act local' when it comes to protecting our environment".
For further information contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
August 2nd, 2001