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Australian business forges ahead on Kyoto target.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

Senator the Hon Robert Hill

Minister for the Environment and Heritage

 

Australian business forges ahead on Kyoto target

 

“Congratuations to Australian business for committing to achieve 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas savings by the ye ar 2000,” said the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Robert Hill.

 

“One year ago at the Climate Change Conference in Kyoto, Japan, we were given a very ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2008-2012,” Senator Hill said.

 

“Through the actions outlined in their agreements, 209 Greenhouse Challengers will collectively reduce their projected greenhouse gas emissions by 25 million tonnes of C02 equivalent by the year 2000,” he said.

 

“This mighty achievement will stand Australia in good stead for the future. It will be critical to Australia meeting our international commitments,” Senator Hill said.

 

“To put this into perspective 25 million tonnes would be equivalent to planting 25, 000 hectares of plantation forest every year and leaving it for 100 years.”

 

Senator Hill also launched the Greenhouse Challenge Vegetation Sinks Workbook , saying Australia’s forests have an important role in our efforts to combat the greenhouse problem.

 

“The book contains world-class methodologies to help industry measure how much of its greenhouse gases are absorbed by vegetation-based carbon sinks,” Senator Hill said.

 

Many Challenge companies have been awaiting the Greenhouse Challenge Vegetation Sinks Workbook to provide practical guidance on how to measure carbon absorbed by various types of plantation and forestry actions.

 

“The methodologies developed in this workbook demonstrate to the international community Australia’s credentials internationally in developing quantifiable and verifiable reductions using vegetation-based carbon sinks.”

 

Senator Hill and Senator Nick Minchin, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources were speaking at Greenhouse Challenge Day at Parliament House in Canberra, where they announced that more than 333 enterprises had joined Greenhouse Challenge, the joint industry-Government program to reduce industry greenhouse gases.

 

Of those who have joined the Challenge, more than 200 have signed Greenhouse Challenge agreements, covering 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from Australian industry.

 

“I am delighted at the progress of companies which signed agreements last year,” said Senator Hill. ‘Their reports demonstrate that Greenhouse Challenge is leading to a culture of continuous improvement in emissions abatement”.

 

“Indeed, a significant number of these companies have increased the savings they forecast in their initial agreement, through additional actions,” said Senator Hill.

 

Greenhouse Challenge participants throughout Australia marked Greenhouse Challenge Day by displaying posters, conducting tree planting ceremonies, talking to local schools and helping to raise awareness of the greenhouse issue.

 

Contacts:

Matt Brown, Senator Hill’s office, 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515

Cate McKenzie, Greenhouse Challenge, 02 6274 1744 or 0417 221 455

Carol Bartley, Australian Greenhouse Office, 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800

 

09 December 1998

 

 

KD