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Senator Wong to join Prime Minister in China.



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PW 47/08 Tuesday 8 April 2008

SENATOR WONG TO JOIN PRIME MINISTER IN CHINA

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, will join Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on the China leg of his overseas trip.

Senator Wong departs Sydney today for Beijing ahead of a series of meetings to discuss how Australia and China can work together on climate change.

“Australia needs to play a constructive and active role in finding common ground between the world’s nations in a long term solution on climate change,” Senator Wong said.

“Countries like China are crucial to our efforts to deal with the global challenge of climate change.

“In developing a post-2012 global agreement on climate change, it is essential that we engage with China and other major economies like the United States and India.

“This visit provides the opportunity to strengthen Australia’s working relationship with China on climate change.

“I am looking forward to discussing developments in international negotiations. In addition, I’ll be discussing joint initiatives with Chinese ministers and a range of other stakeholders, including business people and academics.

“Australia and China have a lot in common in tackling the global challenge of climate change. As major energy producers and users, we both have an interest in developing cleaner energy sources and pursuing sustainable development,” Senator Wong said.

Australia and China are involved through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to develop a post-2012 global agreement that is equitable and environmentally and economically effective.

The two countries are also involved in other key forums, such as the Major Economies Meeting process and the G8 outreach process, to add momentum to these United Nations discussions.

“It is critical that all countries, including all major economies, are involved in tackling this global challenge,” Senator Wong said.