Today I will meet with the Hon Alistair Darling, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, Lord Dennis Stevenson, Chairman, HBOS, and the Tripartite Standing Committee deputies.
My discussions today will focus on how our two countries can work together in the areas of climate change, international development, and making the global financial architecture work effectively to deliver appropriate regulatory responses to the financial turbulence of recent months.
These issues were the subject of the joint statement 'Progressive Plan of Action on Common Interests: Climate Change, Trade, Development and Global Institutions' released by Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Kevin Rudd on 7 April 2008.
We will be exchanging views on the global economic outlook, financial market disruptions and their impact on the Australian and UK economies, climate change, and food prices.
We are interested in the UK's experience in relation to Northern Rock as well as the responses of the Government and the key regulatory authorities to this experience.
Increasing food and commodity prices were a key topic at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting and will again be on the agenda at the G8 Finance Ministers' Meeting Outreach. Rising global energy and food prices are affecting all economies, and come at a time of already elevated domestic inflation in Australia.
With more than half the world's population urbanised, trade will play a key role in meeting the world's future food needs.
Making the global financial architecture work effectively involves strengthening the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Forum, and supporting their work together to act as an early warning system for the global economy.
The IMF is bolstering its early warning capabilities and improving its analysis of macro-financial linkages.
Australia recognises the seriousness of the climate change challenge and is committed to working with the global community to develop global solutions. We are looking forward to working with the UK on the development of the Strategic Climate Fund (part of the World Bank's Climate Investment Funds).
Australia is committed to an emissions trading scheme as our preferred market-based instrument because it will assist us in reducing emissions at least cost, and as part of that it will enable future linkages to international efforts to reduce emissions. Financial markets are already playing a key role in the European Union's emissions trading scheme, and will have an important role in Australia's scheme – including in relation to carbon pricing.
6 June 2008