Asia-Pacific takes aim at low carbon development



Posted on 19 June 2009

June 19th, Beijing – Asia’s first regional low carbon forum was held today in Beijing, calling for more regional cooperation among Asia-Pacific nations in the development of a low carbon economy.

Forum delegates made the announcement at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Low Carbon Economy - China Summit 2009, co-organized by Energy Research Institute of the NDRC, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Countries around the world, the forum said, are paying more attention to the concept of sustainability, easing the pressure energy demands place on the environment while still developing the economy, and working to fight climate change.

Delegates also pushed for stronger regional ties, specifying that much more needs to be done to advance low carbon research, promote renewable energy in Asia-Pacific, and establish a an evaluation benchmark system. Promoting inter-governmental ties in the region to encourage technology transfer and trade is another area that needs more attention.

“Asia-Pacific countries need to work together to develop a low carbon economy. There is a lot of room 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).

Mr. Han Wenke, Director General of Energy Research Institute of NDRC, noted that China is one of the world’s largest developing nations and GHG emitters, but recognizes the necessity of moving towards a sustainable future.

“Lowering carbon emissions is something China takes very seriously. In 2008, the Chinese Government lowered energy consumption 4.59% per unit of GDP, proving that a low carbon economy can succeed in developing countries,” Han Wenke stated.

By the end of 2010, China’s wind power installed capacity is expected to exceed 30 GW, up from 12 GW last year. This means that China is installing approximately one wind turbine of one MW in size each hour in the years 2009 and 2010.

“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. 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,” O’Gorman said.

Over 250 delegates attended the forum, including the mayors of Sydney (Australia), Mumbai (India), Changwon (Korea), Baoding (China), and several other international cities. Representatives from government, research institutes, business and NGOs also contributed to the forum, addressing low carbon development from academic and practical perspectives in China and Asia-Pacific.

--ends--

For more information please contact:
Chris Chaplin, Communications Officer, WWF-China
Tel: +86 10 6511 6237, cchaplin@wwfchina.org