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Australian businesses come 'Together' to help consumers fight climate change

Date
11 July 2008

Leading Australian companies today joined acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard to unveil Together- Australia's biggest consumer engagement campaign on climate change that will make it easier for everyone to reduce their {CO2} emissions.

Auspoll findings released today indicate that 80 per cent of Australians are more willing to act on climate change if it is made easier and cheaper (with only 5 per cent not willing to act). Together partners are committed to delivering and promoting simple, practical solutions that will help people save energy, save money and save the planet. The aim of Together is to help every Australian reduce their carbon footprint by one tonne over the next three years.

In an unprecedented demonstration of support, retailers, banking, media and service sectors from across Australia - Westpac, Origin, NRMA Insurance, SGIO, SGIC, GE, Network Ten, Visy, Australia Post and Man Investments - have all united behind this initiative, with more brands set to join throughout 2008. The coalition also reaches beyond business with active support coming from The Brotherhood of St Lawrence, Sport 4 the Environment and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability.

Together will promote simple products, services and initiatives that result in measurable CO2 savings and the campaign will clearly show how, together, all the small actions taken up by Australians make a big difference. The "Togetheriser", an online aggregator at www.together.com, will tally the combined take-up of partner solutions, demonstrating actual {CO2} & money savings that the campaign delivers directly.

A new short film called 'Together We Can' was premiered at the launch event, which unites well known political figures, business leaders, celebrities and members of the public behind the simple environmental message - that it is only by working together that we can tackle climate change.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair team up to lead a cast of campaign partner CEOs and celebrities in the new online film. The film also features international stars and celebrities including: AFL legend Ron Barassi, singer songwriter and activist Annie Lennox, comedian Peter Hellier and supermodel Claudia Schiffer. From today, the film can be viewed online at www.together.comand a number of other leading Australian websites.

Together is an initiative of The °Climate Group, a global, independent non-profit organisation dedicated to building public-private partnerships to find solutions to climate change. Together first launched in the UK in 2007 with the help of then Prime Minister Tony Blair. To date, Together solutions in the UK have helped consumers save over half a million tonnes of CO2 and over $200 million on household energy bills. Together was also launched in the US last month by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Rupert Posner, Australia Director of The Climate Group, said: "Climate change is a global issue that requires a global response. Following the success of Together in the UK and US, we're thrilled to be bringing the campaign to Australia."

"Today marks an unprecedented commitment from some of Australia's favourite brands to provide their customers with easy ways to fight climate change. These companies have come up with new and innovative ways to make it easier to save energy, from lighting our homes and insuring cars, to greener energy tariffs and mortgages."

"Australians are well aware of the need to address climate change, but we need to make it as easy and as motivating as possible.

"Together will go a long way to help everyone make positive decisions about how they can do their bit for the environment and demonstrate how their small actions add up to have a much bigger impact.

"If every Australian saves one tonne of {CO2} through the campaign this will cut our greenhouse emissions by 21 million tonnes, equivalent to annual the emissions of all the households in Sydney," he added.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

Rupert Posner - Director Australia
The °Climate Group
Tel: +61 03 9617 4329
rposner@theclimategroup.org

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