AUSTRALIAN STATEMENT

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THIRD SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES
UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
8 DECEMBER 1997
SENATOR HON. ROBERT HILL, MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT

Mr President,

Australia’s National Response

Australia wants a durable and environmentally effective Kyoto agreement. Our collective efforts must demonstrate leadership and lay a solid foundation for a truly global response to climate change. We must particularly recognise those most acutely at risk - and for Australia, we think of our Pacific Island friends.

In Australia, we are implementing a major new program of greenhouse measures to address all greenhouse gas emissions and sources.

The measures Australia has now adopted will cut our growth in emissions by more than half. This is a real turning point. It means a reduction in Australia’s per capita emissions of 4% against 1990.

The participation of some 300 local governments by 2003, will realise major expansion of the international Cities for Climate Protection campaign.

Australia’s action on climate change involves all levels of government. Australia’s action and the measures recently announced are unconditional. We are not waiting on what others are prepared to do.

Australia is taking this action now. We are going well beyond any greenhouse action previously undertaken in our country and well beyond what is contemplated by many others at this time. It is at significant economic cost. It involves action across the whole Australian community.

With the inclusion of land-use change and forestry in this agreement we will have cost effective opportunities to cut further our net emissions.

A fully comprehensive approach with all sectors, sources and sinks included - just as the IPCC instructs - will allow us to commit to significant reductions below what we have already said we can do.

Developing countries are right to insist that their economies have the opportunity to modernise and grow. However, a lasting and effective global climate change response will involve us all. An essential part of the Kyoto outcome must be a process for commitment by us all.

We want this Kyoto Conference to mark a significant step forward. It we are prepared to make genuine commitments and ensure our commitments are fair to each other, then we can achieve that goal.

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