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Greenhouse: developing a new strategy



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Federal Envirorunent -Minister Robert Hill says Australia is continuing to play an active role in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator fall says the Government is set to build on its greenhouse gas reduction efforts - efforts which have already made significant improvements.

"Australia has accepted its responsibility to be a part of a global response to this challenge.

"Our Government is already working with Australian industry through projects such as the Greenhouse Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

'We have provided research resources so that Australia can be at the forefront of developments in Greenhouse Science. The White Paper on Sustainable Energy, which is currently being developed after receiving a large number of public submissions, canvasses energy efficiency issues and changes in energy use and sources.

"The Government is also committed to leading by example through ensuring its own operations maximise energy efficiency."

Senator Hill says apart from domestic efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Australia is also assisting international efforts.

"We are playing a key role in assisting developing nations to reduce greenhouse emissions. Australia is developing an Activities Implemented Jointly program which will allow developing nations to benefit from our technology and expertise.

"Through Aus.AID, Australia is providing $90 million to support 50 projects which will contribute positively to greenhouse gas abatement

"Australia can be proud of its efforts both domestically and internationally on this issue. But we acknowledge that we will need to do more.

"The release today of the discussion paper 'Future Directions for Australia's National Greenhouse Strategy' is the next step in the process.

"When finalised, the National Greenhouse Strategy will lay out the actions Australia will take over the next five years.

"It will provide Australia with a basis for an effective domestic response to global warming into the next century.

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"The Strategy will need to build on the efforts of governments, industry and the

community. Public comment on the discussion paper is vital to the development of the Strategy."

Senator Hill says Australia remains committed to achieving a realistic and achievable outcome from international negotiations on greenhouse gas reductions.

Media Contacts: Ministers office: Matt Brown (06) 277 7640 or 0419 693 515 Environment Australia: Jim Cannon (06) 274 1076

February 28, 1997 (21/97)

The greenhouse effect is a natural process. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the sun's warmth raising the temperature on earth.

However, human activities are now contributing to significantly increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. As a result, many scientists have concluded that globally, temperatures will continue to rise with wide ranging consequences for the natural environment and our social and economic systems.

The discussion paper Future Directions for Australia's National Greenhouse Strategy was developed by the Intergovernmental Committee on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ICESD).The closing dates for public submission is 11 April 1997. Copies of the Discussion Paper and guidelines for the preparation of public submissions can be obtained from Environment Australia by calling 1800 803 772 and are available on the Internet at http://ww-w.erin_gov.au/netingsdp.htinl.

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