| The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
(IGES), Hayama, Japan launched its second round of consultations
on climate regime beyond 2012 with various stakeholders in
the Asia-Pacific region, starting with Beijing on 3 - 4 July
The goal of this consultation process is to promote new and
constructive thinking in the Asia-Pacific region on the future
actions against climate change beyond 2012, and to contribute
to the shaping of a future climate regime that adequately reflects
the concerns and developmental aspirations of countries in
the region. In 2005, IGES conducted region-wide and national
consultations in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of
Korea and Viet Nam in order to ascertain Asian concerns, interests
and priorities for the future climate regime*1.
The consultations in 2006 aim to promote further discussions
on the four themes (a) energy security and development needs,
(b) the clean development mechanism, (c) technology development
and transfer, and (d) adaptation to climate change. The consultations
will be held on a sub-regional basis in Beijing (on 3 and 4
July for Northeast Asia), Bangkok (on 19 and 20 July for Southeast
Asia), and Delhi (on 9 and 10 August for South Asia).
The consultations in Beijing were held in cooperation with
Energy Research Institute (ERI) of National Development and
Reform Comission, China. They were attended by some 60 policy-makers,
industry representatives, academic experts, and NGO representatives
from China, Korea, Mongolia, and Japan. In these consultations,
IGES researchers first summarised the current status
of international discussions and Asian concerns on each theme,
and provided the audience with an in-depth review of various
proposals to strengthen the future climate regime. The participants
freely expressed their candid opinions on ways to facilitate
actions in various themes.
*1: The outcomes were published as a report entitled, "Asian
Perspectives on Climate Regime Beyond 2012: Concerns, Interests
and Priorities" and disseminated at UNFCCC COP11 and the
14th UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14).
Please refer to the appended materials for a preliminary summary of the consultations.
For enquiries about this press release please contact:
Dr. Ancha Srinivasan, Principal Researcher,
Climate Policy Project
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Tel: +81-46-855-3818 Fax: +81-46-855-3809
Ms. Kido, PR Officer,
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Tel: +81-46-855-3700 Fax: +81-46-855-3709
1. A Preliminary Summary of Consultations
(1) Energy Security, Development, and Climate Policy
||Energy is clearly an issue of utmost importance
affecting the social and economic development of Asian developing
countries. However, in international climate negotiations, the
subject of energy security including safety, access, availability
and affordability has not received the attention it deserves. A
new framework that integrates energy security concerns with climate
change issues needs to be found.
||Whereas climate change is being debated as a global
problem, development and energy security issues are largely tied
to the domestic policies of respective countries. In order to integrate
climate change issues with each country's development and energy
security concerns, it is necessary to identify options to integrate
top-down international policies that aim to achieve stabilisation
of global climate with bottom-up government policies that reflect
national circumstances in each country.
||China has tremendous scope for improvement in the
area of energy efficiency. China's 11th Five-Year Plan earmarks
the enhancement of energy efficiency as one of its goals with clear
numerical targets (20% reduction in energy intensity and 10% reduction
in air pollution by 2010). However, no decision has been taken
to relate these targets with the global GHG reduction targets being
discussed under the international climate framework.
||Participants noted that policies to curb green
house gas emissions would result in substantial co-benefits such
as a reduction in air pollution and the promotion of employment
at the local level.
(2) Climate-friendly Technology Development and Transfer
||Participants recognised that further technological
development is indispensable to achieve the ultimate goal of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
and that member states must promote the dissemination of technologies
at a domestic level within developing countries while further encouraging
technology transfer from developed to developing countries. At
the same time, capacity building is required to foster the human
resources needed to operate, maintain, and manage such new technologies
in developing countries. When the discussion broached the subject
of setting numerical targets for developed countries for transfer
of technology to developing countries, it was pointed out that
the issue of quantification posed a technical hurdle.
||Private-public partnerships on development and
climate issues, such as the Asia Pacific Partnership (APP), are
receiving attention for their efforts to promote active participation
by the private sector. What is now needed is advancement of
concrete initiatives that can convince private enterprises that
it is worthwhile to take part in such activities.
||Regarding the optimal ways to handle intellectual
property rights (IPR) for climate-friendly technologies, some participants
suggested that conditions on safeguarding of IPR must be relaxed
for technologies that possess the characteristics of international
public goods. On the other hand, to encourage the utilization of
such IPR, the possibility of introducing compulsory licensing within
the World Trade Organization (WTO) or enforcing shared patenting
was debated. Participants pointed out that more research is necessary
to determine if climate-friendly technologies can conform to the
kind of scheme laid out for compulsory patent licensing of AIDS
||Participants noted that even relatively less advanced
technologies, which can reduce green house gases, are not properly
deployed in developing countries, even when there are no IPR constraints.
Consequently, the promotion of such technologies is very important.
However, one must pay attention to the "technology lock-in" effect,
as it is not easy to upgrade and renew already adopted technologies
(e.g., those of coal-based power plants or the steel industry,
which may last for more than 50 years).
(3) Clean Development Mechanism
||Participants noted that currently the Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM) projects give precedence to maximising
profit to investors, rather than necessarily contributing to sustainable
development in developing countries.
||Because current CDM did not seem to facilitate
technology transfer as per expectations, improvements
designed to spur technology transfer are considered crucial. Particularly
important is the transfer of know-how to operate, maintain, and
||Feasibility of the sector-based approach to CDM
was debated. It was pointed out that setting a baseline and subsequent
implementation might face technical hurdles.
||While it is important to raise financing to implement
CDM activities, the CDM in its current form is not necessarily
attractive to investors. Moreover, very few CDM projects are implemented
in the Least Developed Countries where poverty reduction is the
highest priority issue. There is also a need to explore utilization
of ODA in support of CDM projects contributing to sustainable development.
In addition, because the price of certified emission reductions
(CERs) influences the extent to which CDM activities are implemented,
participants felt that both market prices and government purchases
need to be stabilised. All participants strongly hoped that the
CDM would continue beyond 2012.
(4) Adaptation to climate change
||Participants weighed the pros and cons of the
"Adaptation Protocol" and other initiatives that focus solely on
adaptation to climate change. Some participants noted that on account
of the delays in initiatives and international negotiations on
adaptation, parties should seek to implement individual actions.
Others opined that initiatives focused solely on adaptation might
cause people to neglect efforts to mitigate climate change. Still
others feared that while large sums are needed for adaptation,
it might be impossible to raise sufficient
funds through international climate negotiations.
||It was noted that Japan was supporting infrastructure
improvement contributed to adaptation through ODA, but also discussed
was the possibility of providing further support via ODA targeting
||Some participants expressed that, rather than
establishing a rigid international framework with specific targets
for adaptation, it would be more effective to build a flexible
||As with mitigation measures, the use of market
mechanisms to promote adaptation projects was discussed but participants
recognised the need for further research in this area.
2. Future Issues
The present consultations highlighted the need to deepen international cooperation in response to changing national and international circumstances. It is crucial to carefully explore opinions and issues brought up in this round of consultations pertaining to development, energy security, technology development and technology transfer, CDM, and adaptation, and to reflect such views in a future framework so that it can address Asian concerns more effectively than before.