ENVIRONMENT | Cesar Tordesillas, Australia

Combet appointed Australia’s energy efficiency minister

Greg Combet is Australia's new minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, replacing Senator Penny Wong.

As part of the new Gillard government ministry, Combet says climate change remains a tremendous environmental challenge that demands careful economic reform.

“My priorities in this new portfolio will be to continue the Government’s strong support for renewable energy, to promote greater energy efficiency in industry and households, and to work towards the introduction of a carbon price,” said Mr Combet, who assisted Senator Wong under the Minsitry of Climate Change and Energy Efficency for the last 18 months.

While tackling climate change will be a key priority for the Government, Mr Combet says a continuing and active role in the international response to climate change will also be important. “In the new Parliament climate change policy will require broad consultation and the building of consensus,” he said.

That is especially the case as Labor and the Australian Greens, who support climate change action, don’t have the numbers in the lower house to introduce a price on carbon. They will however, have the numbers in the Senate from July 2011.

Community consensus was also fundamental to the development of Australia’s response to climate change, Mr Combet said.

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