|8 December 2011|
|On 1 December 2011, at the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa, the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) convened a side event entitled “Low Carbon Development in the Asian Countries”, which drew approximately 100 participants from government, civil society and the private sector. The event highlighted recent research findings on domestic policies and activities aimed at developing the carbon market in China and Japan, and looked at areas for future cooperation leading towards a low-carbon Asia.
The event was co-chaired by Prof. Zhang Xiliang, Director of the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University and Prof. Hironori Hamanaka, Chair, IGES Board of Directors. It was opened by remarks noting the roles that both Japan and China should play in the Asia-Pacific region where dynamic change and growth can be expected in the future. The opening remarks also underlined expectations for further cooperation on climate change mitigation objectives drawing on the rich experience of both institutes. Dr. Liu Bin, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University presented several options for China to achieve greener development, noting that these options would continue to lower China’s energy intensity. Prof. Jusen Asuka, Director, Climate Change Group, IGES reflected on the effects and implications of the Fukushima incident for Japan’s climate policies and recommended changes to those policies that would have a favourable effect on energy policy.
China is considering the development of a carbon market to achieve low-carbon objectives. Dr. Yasushi Ninomiya, Director, Market Mechanism Group, IGES highlighted ongoing collaboration and knowledge-sharing between IGES and Tsinghua University based on Japan’s experience with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trading schemes such as Japan's Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme (JVETs) and Japan Verified Emission Reduction (J-VER). Dr. Teng Fei, Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University mentioned that several research activities were already being undertaken in China to support the development of the carbon market. While several tasks lie ahead, it was reiterated that China is planning to establish a unified national carbon emissions trading system by 2015.
The presentations were followed by high-level discussions with senior government officials and experts. Key issues addressed in the discussion included that China has been and will further pursue a low-carbon development path in a manner contributing to its prosperity and sustainable development. Throughout the event, it was stressed that China and Japan should learn from each other’s experiences and make the most of synergies in the field.
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) was established in 1998 under the initiative of the Government of Japan. IGES conducts strategic policy research on global environmental issues faced by countries in the Asia and the Pacific region.