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Asia-Pacific nations to cooperate on low-carbon economy
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Asia's first regional low-carbon forum kicked off in Beijing Friday with a call for more cooperation among Asia-Pacific nations in the development of a low-carbon economy.

Delegates pushed for stronger regional ties, specifying that much more needs to be done to advance low-carbon research, promote renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific, and establish an evaluation benchmark system.

Promoting inter-governmental ties in the region to encourage technology transfer and trade is another area that needs more attention, they said at the Asia-Pacific Forum on the Low Carbon Economy - China Summit 2009.

"Asia-Pacific countries need to work together to develop a low-carbon economy. There is a lot of room for cooperation on economic development and climate change and energy issues," said Noeleen Heyzer, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and the Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

"We should have more multilateral and regional cooperation, and share innovative policies and capacity building among governments to seize the opportunity of development," said Liana Bratasida, assistant minister for global environmental affairs under Indonesia's environment ministry.

Han Wenke, director general of the Energy Research Institute of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said China was one of the world's largest emitters but the country has recognized the necessity of moving toward a sustainable future.

"Lowering carbon emissions is something China takes very seriously," he said. "In 2008, the Chinese government lowered energy consumption 4.59 percent per unit of gross domestic product, proving that a low-carbon economy can succeed in developing countries," Han stated.

By the end of 2010, China's wind power installed capacity is expected to exceed 30 gigawatts, up from 12 GW last year.

"This means that China is installing approximately one wind turbine of one MW each hour in 2009 and 2010," he said.

"China is showing the world that developing nations can play a leading role in low carbon development," said WWF-China Country Representative Dermot O'Gorman.

"But at this stage, establishing strong regional partnerships is a must, something the Asia-Pacific Low Carbon Economy Forum can help facilitate," he said. "More cities, companies and financial institutions are investing in low-carbon development, and they will be the real winners in the low-carbon economy future."

The forum was co-organized by the Energy Research Institute of the NDRC, ESCAP and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

More than 250 delegates attended the forum. Representatives from government, research institutes, business and non-governmental organizations also contributed to the forum.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2009)

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