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Australia and Europe strengthen carbon market collaboration



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

29 March 2012

AUSTRALIA AND EUROPE STRENGTHEN CARBON MARKET COLLABORATION

The Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Industry and Innovation, the Hon Greg Combet MP, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Ms Connie Hedegaard, confirmed their strong commitment to working towards linking the Australian and European emissions trading schemes, during bilateral talks in Brussels on 29th March.

“Good progress was made at the inaugural Senior Officials Talks in February 2012 on developing a shared approach for a linked European-Australian carbon market,” Ms Hedegaard said.

“Linking our schemes is a priority for the Australian government. The EU ETS is the largest emissions trading scheme in the world. Together, the schemes will provide access to a wider range of options for cost-effective emission reduction,” Mr Combet said.

Minister Combet and Commissioner Hedegaard noted that linking the two schemes would further develop the international carbon market, and welcomed increasing participation in carbon market activities across the world.

“Thirty-two countries, including the twenty-seven European Union member states have emissions trading schemes in place, as well a number of state-based systems in the North America,” Mr Combet observed.

“China is piloting trading schemes and has plans for a national Emissions Trading Scheme after 2015. An ETS is also planned in the Republic of Korea and sub-nationally an ETS will start in California in 2013.”

“We are working to strengthen the international carbon market, enabling effective climate action across the world at least cost,” Ms Hedegaard said.

“Integrated carbon markets will also provide incentives for the development and diffusion of low carbon technologies that can assist countries’ transition to low-emissions development pathways.”

Today's announcement followed the December 2011 release by Minister Combet and Commissioner Hedegaard of the Terms of Reference for the Australia-Europe Senior Officials Talks on Climate Change. The inaugural meeting of the Senior Officials Talks on Climate Change was held in Brussels on 27 and 28 February 2012. Senior officials discussed closer collaboration between Australia and the European Union on the development of international carbon markets and the possibility of linking the EU Emissions Trading System and Australia's Carbon Pricing Mechanism. The work plan

agreed by Minister Combet and Commissioner Hedegaard will guide further discussions on linking.

Media contacts: Australian Minister Combet: Mark Davis (+61 400 295 560)

European Commission: Isaac Valero-Ladron (+32 49 86 49 71, isaac.valero-ladron@ec.europa.eu)