Climate change: protecting Indonesia’s forests for the future

A devestated forest area near Bugit Tiga Puluh National Park, in Jambi, Sumatra. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Fitrian Ardiansyah, ANU

Climate change poses a grave threat to Indonesia’s nature-based economy, including its land-use and forestry sector. But it is also likely to provide good opportunities, especially in the incentives created to support the overall REDD+ program (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) in Indonesia. Read more…

Promoting standards harmonisation in the fight against climate change

Visitors look at a Toyota Prius Hybrid car during the Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo in Changchun city, Jilin province, China, 8 September 2012. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Llewelyn Hughes, GWU

Last year the US and Japanese governments affirmed their joint commitment to fight climate change by cooperating in developing clean energy. Both countries are also pursuing green innovation independently. These efforts are crucial in responding to climate change.

The emerging battle between auto manufacturers in Japan, the United States and Europe over standards for electric vehicles shows, however, that green innovation is as much about competitiveness Read more…

India’s green industrial policy


Author: Ashwini K Swain, Delhi

After the global financial crisis governments were asked to support industrial activities, and eventually many states decided to restructure their industrial policy.

After all, there is a new reason for industrial policy — the problem of climate change. Read more…

The changing climate of Bangladeshi migration to India

An art installation in Dhaka depicting the drowning hands of climate refugees 25 May 2011. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Manish Vaid, ORF, and Tridivesh Singh Maini, New Delhi

Bangladesh’s vulnerability to climate change is the main reason behind its number six ranking on the 2011 UN World Risk Index — the highest within South Asia.

UN projections indicate that a sea level rise of 0.5 metres could see Bangladesh lose approximately 11 per cent of its land by 2050, which would affect around 15 million people.  Read more…

Southeast Asia not ready to go nuclear

Filipino activists call on the Philippine government to completely dismantle the country's unused Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, at candlelight vigil to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy, in Quezon City, Philippines. (Photo:AAP)

Author: Sahara Piang Brahim, NUS

Southeast Asia is experiencing sustained economic growth and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

A recent OECD forecast shows that the region is expected to achieve an annual average growth rate of 5.5 per cent from 2013 to 2017. Read more…

Australian energy: the benefits of being Asia’s next-door neighbour

The Woodside Petroleum Pluto A gas production platform in the Indian Ocean, 200 kilometres off the Pilbara coast of Australia. Australia could soon rival Qatar as the top exporter of liquid natural gas globally. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Fatih Birol, IEA

The global energy map is being redrawn.

The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012 (WEO-2012) projects that resurgent oil and gas production in the United States, which temporarily overtakes Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer before 2020, to be a key engine of change in energy markets. Read more…

Chinese coal: key to a global climate solution

A coal fired power station operating in Huaibei, China. Beijing has stepped up investments in nuclear power in an effort to slash its world-leading carbon emissions and scale down its heavy reliance on coal. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kevin Jianjun Tu, Carnegie Endowment

China is rich in coal — so rich that coal lies at the heart of any solution to prevent climate change.

Coal accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s primary energy consumption, and coal-fired carbon emissions in China were 17 per cent higher than national carbon dioxide emissions in the United States in 2010, according to the International Energy Agency. Read more…

More UN action needed on climate change displacement

A man fishes on a bridge on Tarawa atoll, Kiribati, March 30, 2004. Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji.  (Photo: AAP)

Author: Catherine Pelling, Global Voices and RMIT

Popularly termed ‘climate change refugees’, people displaced and forced to migrate as a result of the effects of climate change — rising seas, flooding, drought, extreme weather and food insecurity — continue to be severely under-recognised in the UN climate change process.

Read more…

Clean coal technologies in developing countries

A man cycles past cooling towers of the coal powered Fuxin Electricity Plant in Fuxin, in the northeast Liaoning province of China. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Xunpeng Shi and Brett Jacobs, ERIA

Coal will continue to play a large role in world energy supplies in the medium term, particularly in rapidly industrialising countries such as India and China.

Notwithstanding the increasing number of environmental regulations on coal use since the 1970s, global demand for coal has increased steadily in the past three decades. Read more…

The motivations for China’s new energy and climate policies

The Chinese government has backed up its declarations on renewable energy with extensive public financing. The government has established feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic solar power, for example. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Olivia Boyd, ANU

The motivations for China’s recent energy and climate change policies are far more complex than the stereotypical view of China as a country bent on the pursuit of economic growth at all costs would allow.

Since the release of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan in 2006, China has reduced its energy intensity (energy used per unit of GDP output) by almost 20 per cent. Read more…

In search of a new climate change paradigm

A loader is seen shifting coal in Australia. Relying less on fossil-fuel intensive energy sources like coal is essential to a shift toward low-carbon economic systems. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, Japan

The woes of the current United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties approach to climate change are due to its age-old ‘reduction paradigm’ of national emissions, where governments are legally held accountable for reducing the emissions of their private enterprises.

Yet, they are given latitude to pledge their reduction commitments according to their ambitions, which are intrinsically arbitrary. At best, the whole system is a ‘do your best’ game, and at worst it is tragically disconnected from science. Read more…

Indonesia: learning from China’s industrial energy-saving programs?

This picture shows smoke rising from the factory of pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited in Pangkalan Kerinci, outside Pekanbaru, Riau. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Michael T. Rock, RFF

There is little doubt that mitigating climate change will ultimately require Indonesia and other governments to cap and reduce their CO2 emissions.

Currently, CO2 emissions in Indonesia predominantly arise from land-cover change (such as deforestation), but it is only a matter of time before emissions from industry come to dominate. Read more…