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Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet

Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said on Tuesday that Australia is working with international partners, including China, on practical actions that enable countries to respond to climate change.

One of the Australian government’s highest priorities is to help shape a global climate change solution, he told Xinhua at the Carbon Expo Australasia in Melbourne.

“Through the United Nations climate change negotiations, the international community is working to develop a new long-term approach for global cooperation on climate change. Australia is committed to playing its full and fair part,” Combet said.

The government has committed to reducing Australia’s carbon pollution to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020 if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal consistent with stabilizing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million CO2-equivalent or lower.

“Australia generates about 1.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, so our actions alone cannot avert the worst consequences of climate change.

“However, Australia is one of the world’s biggest polluters on a per capita basis, so it is essential we do all we can as part of the global effort,” he said.

Combet said the most economically responsible course of action was to agree on the best mechanism to price carbon as soon as possible. However, the minister is refusing to speculate on whether it will happen by the end of next year.

Hu Tao, China Carbon Forum special adviser, supported Combet’s view on a carbon price, saying it would help to increase Australia ‘s energy efficiency.

China has pledged to cut energy intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels and has made great efforts to achieve the target, Hu told Xinhua in an interview.

“China has dedicated one third of its stimulus package to the development of a high speed rail-network, irrigation systems and renewable energy. China became the world’s second largest producer of wind power last year and is gradually becoming a major supplier of renewable energy technology.”

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