Australian government commits AU$60 million to cut greenhouse emissions

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

In response to the Stern Report, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard announced AU$60 million to fight climate change, on 42 projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The projects are part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

"The Asia-Pacific Partnership includes countries that represent about half of the world's emissions, energy use, GDP (gross domestic product) and population, and is an important initiative that engages, for the first time, the key greenhouse-gas emitting countries in the Asia-Pacific region," Mr Howard said in a statement.

Howard told the audience at the CSIRO's Ensis, a research and development organisation for the forestry industry, the government was taking practical steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions and symbolism would not clean up the air.

"Symbolism will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Practical methods will and that is what I'm interested in...The thing that matters is doing things" he said.

More than half the money is going to projects to develop clean coal technology, including $8 million for a mobile carbon catcher for coal-fired power stations.

$17.5 million will be spent on renewable energy projects, including high efficiency solar power stations and solar-enhanced transport fuels.

$11 million will be spent on coal mining. $6 million will be spent on improving energy efficiency of appliances and buildings, and AU$2.5 million will be used to help the aluminium industry reduce emissions.

Howard dismissed as "pure speculation" the Stern Report's more alarmist projections.

"Talk about hot air. There's an enormous amount of hot air on this issue," Howard says "what we need are measures which actually achieve results." and that his announcement will achieve results.