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Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister John Howard of Australia

June 27, 1997

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Q. Sir, do you have any sympathy for Australia's position on greenhouse gas emissions?

President Clinton. The Prime Minister was just expressing sympathy with ours. [Laughter] We're going to talk about it today. I think we have to do something. I think it's a serious problem. But we've all got to—you know, what you want is everybody making a good effort. We don't want to falsely compare one person's circumstance to another. We've got from now to Kyoto to find a solution; I think we will.

Q. Sir, is differentiation the answer?

President Clinton. I want to make sure I know what I am answering when I give an answer.

Q. Different targets for different countries, sir, is that the answer?

President Clinton. I don't want to say yet; I want to have time to look through this and make a judgment.

Q. Do you think Australia and the U.S. can meet on this, then?

President Clinton. I certainly hope so. I hope we can all meet in Kyoto on it. It's what I'm working for.

Q. [Inaudible]—on the developing nations?

Q. Will you be discussing China today and U.S. engagement in the region?

President Clinton. Just a minute. I think the developing nations should be part of it. And I think that—we believe we can demonstrate that the developing nations can continue to grow their economies rapidly and still adopt responsible, sustainable development policies. That's what's behind our Export-Import Bank loan policy. It's what's behind what Mr. Wolfensohn is doing at the World Bank. We can get there. What did you say about Asia?

U.S. Engagement in Asia

Q. Will you be discussing the U.S. engagement in Asia?

President Clinton. Absolutely, a lot.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Q. Mr. Howard, do you think you can talk the President around?

Prime Minister Howard. Well, I don't think it's a question of talking around. I think the Australian position is quite well known. We want to play a part; we don't expect a free ride. But we've argued for some kind of differentiation, because different countries are in different situations. And the concern Australia had was that the Group of Eight meeting in Denver might have preempted the outcome of the Kyoto Summit. And that clearly is not happening. And I get a lot of encouragement from the remarks that were made by the President yesterday in New York. And I think that is the basis of an understanding. I'd like to see Australia and the United States work together on it. We have a concern about domestic jobs, and I'm sure the United States does, too.

NOTE: The exchange began at approximately 1:20 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to Discussions With Prime Minister John Howard of Australia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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