Introduction: Why the region?
1. In chapter 2 proved how little Asian countries have been involved in the informal debate among researchers in the future climate regime. In chapter 3 showed that emission limitation targets for each country in the future would be much affected by a particular emission-sharing rule adopted by the UNFCCC parties. It is means crucial for developing countries to participate fully in the next round of negotiations to determine the future climate regime.
2. Country studies in chapter 4-10 in part II showed how the climate change problems has been dealt with in the policy-making forum of each country, there are various reasons, not only because most are developing countries in term of economic prosperity, but also because there are other social, institutional or cultural dimension that prevent them from being involved.
3. In part III, major elements of future climate regime in the Asian region that may considered to be important were discussed. While multilateral negotiations are stuck among various negotiating position and unable to make progress, is the primary reason for starting the research project, not to come up with a particular concrete proposal, but rather to start an exercise in each country to discuss the future climate change regime such as in each country gradually to get involved in international debate. The outcome of this exercise leads us to recognize features that are unique to the Asian region
Overview of fundamentals in Asia
1. First, the region holds a huge share of the global population (3.6 billion in 2005, World Resources Institute, 2006). The share of world GHG emission is smaller than the proportion of population, at 30%, this is fact that most peoples in Asia is live in developing countries where emission per capita is low compared to the world average. The participation of Asia is indespensible in order for the world to achieve the stable level of atmospheric concentration of GHGs that is the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC.
2. Second, diversity within the region. Japan (Annex I country) and many non-Annex I countries in the region emit a lot more than some other countries in the same region. This suggest that emission per capita not always a consequence of economic wealth, but also of primary energy resources used in each country, or of energy as well as social inefficiency.
3. There is great diversity again in term of projected emission growth from the present. Japan, with shrinking population, emission are not likely growth much even without any mitigation policies after 2005. on the other hand emission in some countries will grow three or four times between 1990 and 2025. it becomes apparent that all countries, including those in Asia, need to look seriously for a way to achieve sustainable development – economic and social development without emission growth.
4. Asia is likely to experience many types of disasters, of adverse impact of climate change. Countries with large coastal zone will experience sea-level rise and floods, some countries will experience droughts. Countries with mountain range are concerned about melting of ice caps at the tops of mountains. Some countries may suffer from new deseases. Some countries need to grow different types of crops that will adapt to the new climate.
1. How can countries in Asia collaborate in tackling climate change? How can they become more aware in international participation? Are there any way for Asia to start working on climate change mitigation and adaptation by itself while the multilateral negotiation process is no progress? To answers these questions, these mainly dealt with countries domestic social/political aspects (part II).
Comparison across countries will clarify elements that are key to the region taking a step forwards in the direction of stimulating debates on the climate change regime at domestic level.
2. The second part of synthesis will be on processes at regional level. The cross-cutting issues could be considered as problems all countries share. What are the themes that could be tackled at regional level? And how could solutions be implemented? What kind of processes are the most effective in developing such regional cooperation?
3. The final part is focused on multilateral, or global level. What are the themes need to be handled at multilateral rather than regional level? What are the things that can not be concluded inside Asia and need to be connected to multilateral solutions? Are any other agreements required to meet the institutional needs except the UNFCCC or Kyoto Protocol? How could such agreements be reached? What are the processes that could be initiated by the Asia region?
4. Multilateral dialogue have to starts before international negotiations, countries will slowly become aware of the importance of the climate issues. Countries need to give inputs at all levels of the dialogue well before any international agreements are reached.
Countries’ stakeholder dialogue at domestic level
Indications that are worth discussing
1. In all countries it was mainly the relevant ministries that are considered as the most influential in developing national positions on climate change and the actual power to develop country position in international negotiation on climate change. There is a parliament or similar body in all countries (which members of legislative body are elected by the people, so it could be said thet the decision of this body reflect the view of the people living in the country) that holds authorithy to make final decisions regarding approval legislation.
2. Independent body is established within the government to deal specially with climate change in many cases, the body consist of all relevant ministries as well as legislative bodies, and in some cases other domestic stakeholders. In climate change policies, environmental ministries can not alone take entire responsibility.
3. In others, representatives from non-governmental organization (NGO) bodies are invites to join the group. Involving NGO representatives in the process may make a difference to its outcome. Expert on impact of climate change, energy and resources, bussiness representatives may play important roles in the coordinating body.
4. To deal with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM): the Designated National Autorithy have already established. The CDM would not have made much progress without the establishment of a DNA in each country. Establishing an institution for coordinating within government and making full use of this body is the first step in starting a dialogue on future climate change at domestic level.
5. The next step is involve citizen. Balanced decisions can be made with full public awareness of various risks in the adverse effects of climate change. Education and training of citizens on climate change is needed. Even in Japan, where most citizens are aware of the climate change problem, not many are fully aware of adverse impacts of climate change that may effect their own territory. The recent preparation of national adaptation programs of action (NAPAs) is an excellent opportunity for non-Annex I countries to engage citizens in government policy-making.
Linkage to sustainable development
1. Linkage between climate change policies and sustainable development is much less institutionalized. The UNFCCC clearly states in Article 3.4 that “that Parties have a right to, and should, promote sustainable development”.
2. A concrete institutionalization to deal with sustainable development was observed only in Korea among the countries covered by this volume. In many cases policies are almost duplicated. In China, the Five Year Plan (FYP) for Economic and Social Development (2006-2010) play an important role in integrating policies. In Thailand partnership between the National Committee on Sustainable Development and the Social Advisory Board play a role as a process to achieve integration both policies. In Bangladesh, multilateral funding agencies such as World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have strong voices in determining the national strategy for sustainable development.
3. Based on country studies, could be concluded that more institutionalizing at national level may be effective in integrating climate mitigation and sustainable development. Institutionolizing could be mean establishment of a committee to play a role as an interface where stakeholder could meet and exchange views and allow such an institution a certain level authorithy (have a political power)
4. Establishment of a process to formalize indicators on sustainable development may also be effective. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by UN are good examples of such national indicators.
Linkage to local administration
1. Participation of local authorities is needed to make adverse effects of climate change. In part II, not much interaction is observed between central and local government on climate change policies. The few examples is in Thailand: a bottom-up planning approach that encourages villages to establish a census data and information system.
2. Environmental NGOs play a significant role in raising awareness of the local people, promoting adaptation – and mitigation – policies at local level, promote environmental issues, facilitate democratization by stimulating individuals’ participation in government decision making, altering local people’s behaviour and mind-set towards adaptation important, view at local level in dealing adequately with adaptation measures at international level.
Regional cooperation in Asia: Prority areas
There are elements that seem to be better managed at regional level than at multilateral level
1. Internationally, carbon pricing is the most economically effective way to tackle climate change (Stern et al., 2006). However, currently the emissions trading scheme can only be established in developed countries where emissions and emission-trading activities can be monitored with high accuracy. Most developing countries are ineligable to participate in emission-trading because of incapability to monitor the trading.
2. Emission-trading itself does not reduce emissions, nor contribute to GDP growth. However, emission reduction may not occur if an accurate monitoring system is not established at national level. Equally, reduction may not happen if the country has little techological or financial capacity to reduce its emissions. Some developing countries may sell emission allowances just to obtain foreign currency, without clear vision as to how to utilize the money.
3. Asia cannot exact the carbon market to solve the problem until most countries are ready to set up the domestic institutions to ensure effective emissions trading activities. Version of CDM, such as sectoral crediting, may be a realistic option for carbon pricing in the near future.
1. CDM has been well accepted by developing countries may be the expectation of technology transfer. But it is not an easy way, even people support technology transfer, its difficult to distinguish exactly what is to be transferred. Technology transfer is related to intellectual property rights (IPRs). Most of the technologies that are expected to be transferred belong to the private sector. Government cannot simply transfer without any payment.
2. The CDM has been criticized for time-consuming procedure. There is a need for the region to consider another means to stimulate technology transfer.
3. Bilateral and regional technological cooperation has been growing, such as 10+3 (ASEAN nations, China, Japan, and Korea) and the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) can serve good platforms to enhance technological cooperation among Asian countries.
4. Bilateral and regional agreements may be more effective and efficient than UN activities in many cases for implementation of activities in relatively large countries, because negotiations can be made in concrete manner for a particular technology. UNFCCC forum have problems in term equity, because they are likely to be agreed only between countries that have relatively large-scale economies. Linking and nesting institutions to make them complementary may be the logical way forward, for example, linking the APP with the CDM would be a solution.
5. Asia must have variety of schemes in place on technology transfer. Efforts at the UN level should continue under the auspices of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) or other mechanism. Regional cooperation – such as ASEAN – will effective as well as efficient, and will bring a positive atmosphere to other agendas of the forum.
1. The scope of effectiveness is one distinct difference between mitigation and adaptation, mitigation will effective in mitigating climate change at global level. On the other hand adaptation strategies are only effective in the particular area at which the strategies aim.
2. Many of the adaptation policies will have co-benefits for other purposes as well. Building high dykes againts sea level rise will also be effective for preventing disasters caused extraordinary high tides due to earthquakes. Extermination of insects that are vector of certain diseases will also be effective in increasing the level of hygiene.
3. Neighbouring countries that are likely to suffer from common types of adverse effects of climate change could cooperate and take joint adaptation measures.
Elements that need to be dealt with at multilateral level
Climate change is a global problem, although Asia occupies a large share of the globe, Asia alone cannot solve climate change.
1. Long-term goal cannot be determined only by applying natural science, but it is up to the peoples judgement to determine the acceptable or tolerable level.
2. Many researchers and government are discussing actual GHG level at official negotiating meetings. A study introduced in chapter 3 is one such exercise. Level of acceptable temperature rise and acceptable atmospheric concentration of GHGs are sought.
3. Only after the ultimate goal is set can countries start discussing how much each country or region need to reduce its emission, then start considering equity issues and concrete policies and measures to achieve the emission reduction.
Linkages to other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs)
1. Currently there are large number of MEAs established to tackle environmental issues other than climate change. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as alternatives to Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, turned out to be GHGs with high global warming potential. Forest play significant role in sequestration of CO2 but also supply of biomass energy, conservation of natural habitat and prevention of landslides.
2. MEAs and the future multilateral climate agreement to build cumulative effects to solve several different types of environmental problems.
3. There is also space for things to be dealt with at regional level. For example, linking transboundary air pollution agreements with climate policy may reduce institutional and economic costs and create synergy.
For the least developed countries, financial assistance indispensable for sufficient participation. Trust-building between the Annex-I and non-Annex I countries is necessary for wise use of financial assistance.
Final words: Into the future
Every countries have national circumstances and need respond to the problem simultaneously at domestic, regional and multilateral levels. The focus was especially on domestic level. Stakeholder dialogues were held in many of the countries covered in this volume to start a policy-making process within each country on what should be done beyond 2012.
Sustainable development is a key word in untying a hard knot of debates over “economy or environment”. In this book the challenge was to show exactly what steps must be takes to fulfill two goals; meeting a climate goal while ensuring economic development.
Peoples perceptions are likely to change dramatically in the near future. Peoples recognition of “country”, “boundary”, and “territory” may become ambiguous, as public awareness of climate change increases, while governance is still built upon nation-states. Considering a new process for policy-making that shifts from domestic levels to regional or multilateral levels in flexible manner to reflect a future world facing climate change it is only about time.
This Resume is adopted from Book; Climate Change in Asia: Prespectives in the Future Climate Regime. Edited by Yasuko Kameyama, Agus P. Sari, Moekti H. Soejachmoen and Norichika Kanie. United Nations University Press. 2008