United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia

Thematic Discussion: Addressing inter-linkages between climate
change and sustainable development
4 May 2006 Plenary 3pm-6pm
Comments from Australia
Pleased to hear comments from others of the importance of integration between
environment, energy, financ e and planning and also the important role that the private
sector can play in taking action on climate change.
It is Australia?s view that climate change cannot be effectively dealt with in isolation
? responses should integrate energy, clean development, climate and other key policy
considerations and reflect different national circumstances.
In developing and implementing its approach to climate change the Australian
Government takes a whole-of-government approach to ensure an integrated approach
is taken and works in partnership with industry, all spheres of Government and the
community to reduce Australia?s greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare for the
consequences of climate change.
We have learnt that Partnerships involving governments, research and industry are
crucial if we are to successfully deal with the challenge of climate change ? success
comes particularly when industry leads in partnership with government.
An example of a new partnership developed in Australia is COAL21 ? a partnership
between coal producers, unions, electricity generators, research and government.
Coal21 is an industry conceived initiative being led by key industry players.
In Australia, coal fuels over 80% of our electricity generation. COAL21?s purpose is
to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions from the use of coal in electricity
generation in Australia. It is a collaborative, consensus -building program which will
identify key technologies needed to reduce emissions from expanding coal use in
Australia.
A key element of the partnership is the financing mechanism ? a voluntary coal
production-based levy of approximately 20 cents/tonne aimed at raising an amount in
the order of $200-300 million over a five year period. This fund will complement the
Australian Government $500 million Low Emission Technology Demonstration fund
and will help drive the research, development and deployment of new low emission
technologies with significant long term abatement potential.
Australia?s relatively small economy means that international collaboration and
engagement also provides an important means for accessing new technology,
promoting Australian innovation and influencing the development and acceptance of
new technologies to meet Australia?s needs.
Australia has played a key role in the development of an important new contribution
to the international effort to address climate change, the Asia -Pacific Partnership for
Clean Development and Climate. The Partnership involves key countries in our
region (the United States, China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea) to develop,
deploy and transfer the cleaner, more efficient technologies that the world will need to
make the required deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions.
What makes this Partnership different from others is that it seeks to address climate
change, air pollution, energy security and sustainable development in an integrated
manner and fully engages business in developing and implementing solutions.
It uses an innovative approach of government/industry Task Forces to develop
sustainable solutions to our shared challenges through bottom -up practical action.
This recognises that harnessing the power of our private sectors, our research
communities and our governments is the most effective way to drive sustainable
development outcomes across Partners? economies. The Partnership will bring
together key experts and leaders focussing on these issues from the public, private and
research areas of our economies. It will also enable partners to share experiences on
related issues, for example, on wor kplace safety and technologies that help ensure the
health and well-being of our peoples.
In conclusion - government/business partnerships and collaboration provide an
important means for accessing new technology and innovation, and ensuring the
integration of energy, clean development, climate and other key policy considerations.
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