Friday, September 07, 2007

U.S. & Australia Issue Statement On Climate Change and Energy

Sep 6: At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Summit, meeting in Sydney, Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, and the President George Bush issued a 16-point Joint Statement on Climate Change and Energy. The statement says that the two countries are committed to working together to find effective solutions to the interlinked challenges of climate change, energy security and clean development.

Bush and Howard said they look forward to working actively and constructively with all countries at the UN Climate Change Conference in Indonesia in December, with a view to achieve a post-2012 agreement that provides for effective action from all the major emitting nations toward the UNFCCC objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The APEC Leaders' Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Sustainable Development will be a significant step forward in efforts to forge a new international framework.

Australia said it welcomed the initiative by the United States to launch a series of meetings on future global action on climate change and looks forward to participating in the first Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change in Washington DC on 27-28 September 2007 [See WIMS 6/1/07]. Both countries believe this process will make a major contribution to the negotiation of a post-2012 framework.

They said the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is a major initiative that was co-founded by Australia and the United States to drive technology cooperation. Working together, the six members -- Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States -- have made substantial progress since the establishment of the Partnership in Sydney in January 2006. The Partnership has initiated more than 100 practical projects in the areas of clean fossil energy, aluminum, coal mining, renewable energy, power generation, cement, buildings and appliances, and steel.

Both countries agreed that reducing emissions from deforestation is a key component of global action on climate change and the U.S. welcomed Australia's action in launching the Global Initiative on Forests and Climate, announced in March 2007. Australia indicated it was interested in participating in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), a partnership of governments working on fourth generation nuclear power plant technology. Additionally the two countries agreed on enhancing bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation and supporting the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), as well as other multilateral partnerships, including the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the Methane to Markets Partnership, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership and the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy. The U.S. also welcomed Australia's participation in the FutureGen International Partnership, a major United States-led international project aimed at building a prototype plant that integrates coal gasification and carbon capture and storage to produce electricity with near-zero emissions.

Access the complete statement and link to additional information on APEC 2007 and the U.S.-Australia Partnership (
click here). Access the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate website for additional information (click here). Access the APEC Ministers, Joint Statement from their September 5-6, 2007, 19th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Sydney (click here). Access the APEC website for additional information (click here). [*Energy, *Climate]