Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

9 February 2009

Joint media release with Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water

New Ambassador for climate change

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, today announced that Ms Louise Hand has been appointed to be Australia's Ambassador for Climate Change.

The Ambassador for Climate Change is the lead Australian negotiator within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the head of the International Division of the Department of Climate Change.

Ms Hand will commence her appointment later this month. Outgoing Ambassador for Climate Change, Jan Adams, will return to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to handle crucial trade negotiations.

Most recently Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Ms Hand has previously served in senior positions in DFAT in Canberra and overseas, including as Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.

"I am pleased that we have someone of Ms Hand's ability and experience joining us in this important role," Senator Wong said.

"I look forward to working with Ms Hand as we help shape a global agreement to tackle climate change and reduce emissions."

Ms Hand's contribution was recognised in the most recent Australia Day Honours list with a Public Service Medal for her outstanding public service.

Senator Wong and Minister Smith also paid tribute to Ms Adams's significant contribution as Ambassador for Climate Change.

"A key priority in the Rudd Government's plan to tackle climate change is helping to shape a global solution, and Ms Adams has played an important role in efforts so far," Senator Wong said.

"Jan Adams has been an outstanding Ambassador for Climate Change.

"On a personal note, I would like to thank Ms Adams for her support in these challenging international negotiations."

Minister Smith welcomed Ms Adams's return to DFAT.

"She is highly regarded amongst her international counterparts for her professionalism, integrity, knowledge and great skill," Minister Smith said.

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555