United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Australia during the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM)
for the 15th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, 28 February
Promoting International Co-operation on Climate Change, afternoon session, 28 February
Mr Chairman
The IPCC?s Fourth Assessment Report tells us clearly that warming of the global climate
system is unequivocal and is very likely due to increased gas concentrations in the
atmosphere, the primary source of which is fossil fuel use.
The global nature of the threat of climate change requires a commitment by all countries
to effective solutions ? both mitigation and adaptation. Australia is actively working
within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to find a common
path towards international co-operation that is inclusive and environmentally effective.
We believe, as do others in this room, that the UNFCCC is the primary mechanism for
climate change issues and welcome your focus, Mr Chairman on seeking common ground
through a practical approach in this forum.
Emissions are growing fastest in the developing world. Action to address climate change
does not require a choice between the environment and economic prosperity. As the
Secretary-General has observed, an integrated approach, which draws together social,
economic and environmental considerations, is the way to achieve a comprehensive,
long-term response to climate change. This is the essence of sustainable development.
If we are to dampen the expected sharp rise in greenhouse gas emissions, all options must
be on the table. Energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear power will all help ?
but these alone will not halt, let alone reverse, global emissions. Equally essential is the
development, diffusion and uptake of new low-and zero carbon technologies.
⇒ Many at this meeting have spoken about the need for strong and effective
partnerships to achieve the Millenium Development Goals,
⇒ Many have also spoken about the importance of strong engagement from the
private sector to address effectively the problems of climate change, clean air and
⇒ Many have called for strong regional and bilateral co-operation to address climate
change issues.
Australia strongly supports these calls and is working to make them a reality. We
believe the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is one example
of a partnership that is achieving practical results.
Australia, together with China, India, Japan, Korea and the United States, is undertaking
practical efforts to develop, demonstrate and implement cleaner and lower-emission
technologies in a manner than supports and promotes regional economic growth. The
Partnership complements the work of the UNFCCC and is underpinned by an active
public-private partnership committed to clean development solutions, to address
greenhouse gases and other unwanted emissions. Business is at the table.
Just to take the work of one of the eight AP6 taskforces: Australia and China co-chair the
task force working to deliver cleaner fossil fuel solutions. Coal and gas are, and will
remain, critical fuels in the future as the IEA has indicated . Together we are working on
a range of key advanced coal and gas technologies, including carbon capture and storage,
with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels and airborne
Australia places a high priority on energy efficiency. Australia will phase out the use of
all incandescent light bulbs by 2009. This measure should reduce Australia?s greenhouse
gas emissions by 4 million tonnes by 2012. This is roughly the same as taking 1 million
cars off the road or planting 4 million new trees a year. We encourage others to consider
similar measures and would be interested to explore the potential to widen this endeavour,
in full co-operation with industry.
Adaptation is a major priority for Australia. Climate change will impact on all countries,
developed and developing alike. Given the varied climate change impacts faced by
countries, adaptation responses demand tailored and localised responses. Australia will
continue to work in the UNFCCC on adaptation matters, and bilaterally with our Pacific
neighbours and others to assist in the delivery of appropriate climate monitoring, impact
and adaptation projects, to build capacity to assess and manage the impacts of climate
change and to share our experiences of what works with others.