Added by Gary Dunn on March 5, 2011
The United States will closely follow Australia’s move to introduce a carbon price as it consider its own approach to climate change, according to US ambassador Jeff Bleich.
Mr Bleich told media that the US-Australia relationship is “extraordinary” and will remain so as the Asia-Pacific region is increasing in global importance.
“Most people agree the Asia-Pacific has become the centre of gravity for the world’s economies and demographics – it’s the largest centre for population growth and GDP – and that raises Australia’s prominence,” Bleich said.
Speaking about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s first official visit to Washington, Bleich said that Australia’s potential emissions trading scheme would be a hot topic during the visit.
Mr Bleich, who before starting his ambassadorial role in November 2009 was a White House special council to US President Barack Obama, said: “The president was clear from the outset that in his view if carbon is producing an external cost then we should try to capture that cost, and markets tend to be the most efficient way of doing that..”
Another key topic of the agenda during Ms Gillard’s visit to the White House is said to be the future of the Afghanistan mission.
Gillard will also hold talks with Ban Ki-moon,UN Secretary-General, and business leaders while extending her US visit to New York.