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$180 million climate change package

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$180 Million Climate Change Package Media Rel... Page 1 of 2 l0jA

A Joint Statement

Senator Robert Hill, Minister for the Environment John Moore, Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism Senator Warwick Parer, Minister for Resources and Energy


[ Media Releases and Speeches ]

The Prime Minister today announced the largest and most far reaching package of measures to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions ever undertaken by any Australian government.

The Government's $180 million package over five years will significantly reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions below projected levels. This is estimated to cut emissions per capita to 4 per cent below 1990 levels, the first time the upward trend has been held and reversed.

In terms of practical implementation, the package goes well beyond what is contemplated by many other countries at this time.

Most of the expenditure will be spent on completely new measures or to substantially expand existing programs. It will take Australia to world best practice and enhance the nation's competitive strengths.

The package effectively addresses emissions from the residential, industry, transport, energy, agriculture and forestry sectors, and from government operations.

The major initiatives include:

• Boosting the use of renewable energy. The Government will work with the States to set a mandatory target for electricity retailers to source an additional 2 per cent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2010. To support the further uptake of renewable energy, $60 million will be provided for the commercialisation of renewable energy technologies.

• Establishing a Commonwealth Greenhouse Office within the Department of the Environment to report to Senator Hill. This Office will be responsible for delivery of Commonwealth greenhouse programmes, and will provide a central point of contact for industry and other stakeholder groups. The Office reflects the priority that the government

is giving domestic greenhouse action. It will drive Commonwealth greenhouse policies and programmes including those previously delivered by the Departments of Primary Industries and Energy and Industry, Science and Tourism.

• Accelerating energy market reform. Efficiency standards for fossil fuel electricity generation will be implemented by 2000, ensuring Australia adopts best practice. Accelerated energy market reform will deliver both economic and environmental, particularly greenhouse benefits.

• Improving the fuel efficiency of our car fleet. The Government will negotiate with the automotive industry to secure a 15 per cent fuel efficiency improvement target by 2010 over business as usual. There will be mandatory, model specific, fuel efficiency labelling

• Implementing national energy efficiency codes and standards for buildings, appliances and industrial equipment. Energy efficiency codes and standards will be developed that will take us to best practice standards in these important areas. 10/02/1998


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• Fostering growth in plantation forestry and native revegetation to act as a sink for greenhouse gas. The Government will work to remove impediments to the development of commercial plantations to facilitate the Plantations 2020 vision of trebling the plantation estate by 2020. This will complement the Bush for Greenhouse programme which will forge partnerships between the corporate sector and landholders through the corporate funding of revegetation projects.

• Extending the successful voluntary industry Greenhouse Challenge programme to allow even greater uptake by industry. More than 1000 large and medium companies will participate by 2005. An innovative Greenhouse Allies program for smaller businesses is to be included in the Challenge.

• Supporting the extensive uptake of the worldwide Cities for Climate Protection campaign by Australian Local Governments. Through the campaign Local Governments will work with their communities to reduce emissions through increasing energy efficiency, and developing creative transportation, waste management and building policies.

This package demonstrates that the Government is prepared to go beyond a 'no regrets', minimal cost approach where this is sensible in order to achieve effective and meaningful outcomes.

These measures will reduce Australia's net emissions growth from 28 to 18 per cent (excluding land use change) or some 39 million tonnes by 2010 (from 494 to 455 million tonnes).

Importantly, the level of Commonwealth expenditure does not represent the whole story. The key to the success of the measures is commitment and action by the wider Australia community - individuals, firms and groups.

The Australian community should not underestimate the significant reductions in this package or the commitment required to achieve these outcomes. In terms of practical action, the Australia's package goes well beyond what is contemplated by many other countries at this stage.

Media contacts: Matt Brown (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 693 515 Cheryl Cartwright (Mr Moore's office) 02 62777580 Bob Baudino (Senator Parer's office) 02 6277 7440 0419 438 818 10/02/1998