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Mark Dreyfus to say G'day USA 

11 Jan 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and Industry and Innovation, Mark Dreyfus, will visit the United States next week to highlight the best of Australian innovation, tourism and produce at the 10th annual G'day USA: Australia Week in California.

G'day USA brings together industry leaders and key players within government, business, tourism, academia and the arts to successfully cultivate and enhance the long term Australia-US relationship.

While in the US, Mr Dreyfus will join Australian, American, European and Canadian policy makers, business and academics at the inaugural Australia-US Dialogue on Carbon Pricing.

"Australia and the US have a long history of working together to confront global challenges. One of the challenges that will define this century and the next is climate change," Mr Dreyfus said.

"By sharing best practice approaches in developing efficient and cost effective market based solutions to cutting emissions and linking carbon markets, we can support all nations working together to halt dangerous climate change."

California's emissions trading scheme started on January 1 this year, and will cover 37 per cent of the State's emissions, progressively scaling up to 85 per cent of emissions in 2015. California and the Canadian province of Quebec plan to link their schemes.

California, with a population over 37 million, is the world's ninth largest economy, the largest US state economy and contributes around 13 per cent of US GDP.

"Australia and California are working closely together towards the development of regional and global carbon markets by exchanging comparative experiences on climate policy and exploring options for linking carbon markets over the longer term," Mr Dreyfus said.

"California joins 35 countries, covering a population of more than 560 million people, pricing carbon via a national scheme - these countries include the 27 member nations of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand and Kazakhstan.

"Later this year China is also expected to roll out pilot carbon pricing schemes in a number of provinces and major cities. Korea has passed legislation, with bipartisan support, for a national ETS to commence on 1 January 2015," he said.

Innovation policy is also an important part to the G'day USA: Australia Week.

"I am looking forward to sharing the ways technology is driving change in Australia and its relationship with the Asia Pacific region," Mr Dreyfus said.

"The Gillard Labor Government is transforming the Australian economy to meet the challenges presented by a changing global economy in the context of the Asian Century.

"In particular, we are building the digital economy of the future through our Digital Economy White Paper to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the world class digital infrastructure.

"Our National Broadband Network will give us the same world-class communications to unlock trading opportunities, foster innovation and investment and help to build essential regional people to people connections."

Media Contact: Parliamentary Secretary's Office, 02 6277 4305

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