Today I attended the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit to acknowledge the importance of climate action and the need to deliver a global climate change agreement in 2015.

 A key announcement was that Australia will host an Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit to focus on practical action in our region. Deforestation accounts for around 12 per cent of annual global emissions, with rapid rainforest loss in Australia’s region. Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt, will bring together ministers, major corporations and civil society in Sydney on 12 November to consider practical ways to protect rainforests.

I also announced that Australia joined a declaration on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons. The declaration supports action in the Montreal Protocol to combat these potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and industry.

My speech reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to reducing emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, and meeting this target through our Direct Action Plan, and its $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund.

Earlier this week I attended the Major Economies Forum hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, where I stressed that economic growth and competiveness must be at the forefront of our thinking as we design the post-2020 climate change agreement. Australia will consider its post-2020 target as part of the review in 2015 on Australia’s international targets and settings.

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