THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA JOHN HOWARD IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY The Rose Garden
Q Sir, do you have any sympathy for Australia's position on greenhouse gas emissions?
THE PRESIDENT: 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?
THE PRESIDENT: 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?
THE PRESIDENT: 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?
THE PRESIDENT: I certainly hope so. I hope we can all meet in Kyoto on it. It's what I'm working for.
Q -- on the developing nations?
Q Will you be discussing China today and U.S. engagement in the region?
THE PRESIDENT: 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?
Q Will you be discussing the U.S. engagement in Asia?
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely, a lot.
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 8 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.
Q Thank you.