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Joint Action To Reduce Emissions

30 March 2004

Joint Action To Reduce Emissions Of The Most Damaging Greenhouse Gases

New Zealand and Australia are stepping up their drive to minimize emissions of synthetic greenhouse gases and reduce the effects of climate change.

Government officials and industry representatives from the two countries met this week at a workshop in Wellington to discuss how to best manage synthetic greenhouse gases, in particular hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), emitted from refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

The workshop led to agreement on the development of a common Code of Best Practice for managing HFCs and also included discussion on training and licensing of tradespeople, recovery of HFCs, the use of disposable versus refillable cylinders, and emissions methodologies and inventory.

"The aim is to lift existing standards to limit emissions of these very damaging greenhouse gases as much as possible without compromising the competitiveness of industry," says New Zealand Climate Change Office Director Judy Lawrence.

"It is important for government and industry to work together to ensure an effective approach to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases."

Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers President Howard Healey says that a Code of Best Practice providing common competency standards "would normalise and raise industry practices leading to reductions in emissions of these potent greenhouse gases".

The workshop is part of an ongoing climate change partnership between New Zealand and Australia to improve trans-Tasman efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus the effects of climate change.

"The partnership offers an opportunity for industry and Government from both sides of the Tasman to collaborate and benefit from each other's knowledge and expertise," says Greg Picker, Manager of the Australian Greenhouse Office's Ozone and Synthetic Gas Team.

Industry and government representatives plan to hold a further round of consultation meetings towards the end of 2004 to assess industries response to the Code of Best Practice and other topics discussed at the Wellington workshop.

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