G20 should facilitate international cooperation on climate change

Environmentalists from Poland and Europe participate in the March for Climate and Social Justice in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne

The time is right to place climate change at centre stage of the 2014 G20 leaders-group meeting in Australia. The G20 has a record of leadership on the international climate change agenda. With the world working toward a critical meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December 2015, a firm position articulated by G20 leaders in Brisbane in November would be in time to influence the Lima UNFCCC meeting in December 2014. Read more…

G20 must shape a new world trade regime

The G20 meeting at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings 11 April 2014 at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Mari Pangestu and David Nellor, Indonesia

Over the past decade global trade and investment discussions have moved far away from the formal global trade regime. The multilateral system has been mired in the Doha Development Round — defined by a single undertaking and a fixed agenda that is increasingly out-of-date. In the meantime, most countries have devoted their energies to regional trade and investment discussions. Read more…

Indonesia’s transport planning lacks rigour

A train loaded with passengers heads to central Jakarta. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Howard Dick, University of Melbourne

Both of Indonesia’s presidential candidates have committed to tackling the country’s deficient infrastructure. Joko Widodo (Jokowi) promises 2000 kilometres of roads, ten new airports and seaports and ten new industrial zones, while Prabowo Subianto promises 3000 kilometres of roads and 4000 kilometres of railways. Read more…

Can the G20 deliver new direction?

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey looks back to US Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen center, while delegates pose for an official photo at the Opera House during the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney in February 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

The G20 summit in Brisbane in November this year will be held, almost to the day, on the sixth anniversary of the first summit in Washington in 2008. The leaders’ level meeting was born in a time of crisis and panic, with the world economy facing the danger of a total collapse of the financial sector in the United States and its inevitable spread to the rest of the world. While there are still deep problems in the industrial economies of Europe — with massive unemployment levels, especially among the young, and most economies barely on the mend — the United States is steadily moving out of recession and global economic confidence is on the mend. Read more…

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

INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-ENERGY-GREENPEACE

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…