House debates

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Questions without Notice

Climate Change

2:48 pm

Photo of Alexander DownerAlexander Downer (Mayo, Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Forde for her question and for her interest. As I have told the House before, when I participated in the launch of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate I did so with a number of my colleagues—the Prime Minister himself participated in the opening ceremony—and it brought together ministers from Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States as well as leaders from business and industry.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which is known as AP6, established a policy implementation committee and task forces. They are ready to implement the ambitious work plans of the AP6. The committee and task forces will begin their first substantial meetings in the United States during next month. The task forces will, for example, identify major flagship projects to demonstrate breakthrough climate technologies, and Australia will be sending about 45 delegates to this meeting, mostly from industry.

AP6 is a groundbreaking approach to addressing climate change that involves countries representing 50 per cent of the world’s emissions, 50 per cent of the world’s GDP and about 50 per cent of the world’s population. It focuses on practical action. The point is that it brings together countries like the United States, China and India, and that is of course crucially important if this issue is to be seriously addressed.

Are there any alternative views? We have heard from a Labour leader over the last two days a very realistic approach, I think, to the whole issue of climate change. Prime Minister Blair has said, ‘The fact that we have a forum where people like Australia and the United States—


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