APEC and Climate Change

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 14, 2009
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Leaders of the 21-member Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation meet in Singapore on Nov. 14-15 to discuss a wide range of issues, among which climate change is considered to be a key theme. They are expected to call for further cuts in energy consumption amongst themselves.

The meeting will come ahead of the crucial world climate talks in Copenhagen in December.

APEC members have in recent years launched a number of initiatives and measures to tackle climate change, and progress has been made.

In November 2008, the APEC ministers adopted the Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) Work Programme Framework, aiming to support the development of the EGS sector in the APEC and link up the projects related to the EGS in separate APEC working groups under a coherent and holistic framework.

In 2007, the APEC leaders adopted a climate change program in Sydney meetings, agreeing to tackle global warming by improving energy use and managing forests better.

The program's centerpiece is a goal to reduce "energy intensity ", the amount of energy needed to produce a dollar of gross domestic product, by 25 percent by 2030. The only other concrete goal was to increase forest cover in the region by at least 50 million acres by 2020. Both are nonbinding targets in keeping with APEC's voluntary, consensus-based approach.

To this end, APEC ministers determined to improve energy efficiency and support the use of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies by: setting individual goals and action plans; collaborating with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to develop energy efficiency indicators; sharing information on energy efficiency policies and measures; and encouraging APEC economies to contribute to and utilize the APEC Energy Standards Information System.

The APEC economies are also committed to be held accountable through the APEC Peer Review Mechanism on Energy Efficiency. This peer review is also a vehicle for economies to share their respective policies, experiences, information and ultimately to improve energy efficiency.

In addition, the APEC has established many working groups to assist economies in meeting climate change goals, including the Energy Working Group, the Asia-Pacific Network for Energy Technology and the Energy Security Initiative, to more broadly promote clean and efficient energy production and use.

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