Climate change partnership proving fruitful

Friday, 24 March, 2006

The Australia-China Climate Change Partnership is achieving practical outcomes, according to a report released by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell recently.

Senator Campbell said the excellent progress to date demonstrated the benefits of close cooperation between Australia and China, especially in the areas of low emission technology, adaptation, and improved scientific understanding of climate change.

"The Partnership focuses on practical, concrete projects that have real benefits for both countries in agreed priority areas such as renewable energy technology, energy efficiency, emissions projections and local government action," Senator Campbell said.

"For example, Australian and Chinese researchers are developing ways to both reduce greenhouse emissions from agriculture and improve farm productivity by reducing unnecessary use of nitrogen fertilisers, which are both costly and potent greenhouse substances.

"Nitrous oxide has 310 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, therefore this project will have a significant greenhouse benefit as well as providing economic advantages for farmers."

Senator Campbell also announced a new project to capture and use waste methane gas from coal mines. "This three-year joint project will develop and demonstrate an innovative new Australian technology that captures harmful methane gas from coal mine ventilation air and uses it to produce low emission energy," he said.

"The project will be undertaken at a major mine site in China and will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will also improve coal mine safety."

The report released - Australia-China Climate Change Cooperation Progress and Achievements 2003-2005 - outlines progress under the partnership over the last two years. It was endorsed by Senator Campbell and China's Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Jiang Weixin, at the ministerial meeting of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate in Sydney, January 2006.

The full report can be viewed at www.greenhouse.gov.au/international/partnerships

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