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APEC – Climate Solutions or Serious Stalling?


Background: The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Week is being held 2-9 September in Sydney, Australia. This meeting brings together leaders from 21 nations including Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Russia and the US. Climate and energy is at the top of APEC’s agenda. Both the US and the Australian governments are opposed to binding emissions reduction targets at a global level, such as the Kyoto Protocol, and intend only to agree to voluntary measures.

Key Issues:
Global emissions need to reduce by at least 50% in the next 40 years. APEC countries must push for a strong post-2012 climate treaty with tougher targets to reduce emissions. “The APEC region has the potential and opportunity to play a defining role in the debate about climate and energy solutions,” says Greg Bourne, Chief Executive WWF-Australia. “APEc leaders must make this a positive stepping stone towards discussion in Bali and head for binding targets on emission reductions.”

The growth of coal use in the Asia Pacific in recent years is unprecedented. Between 2001 and 2006 global coal use grew by almost 30 per cent and 90 per cent of this increase came from developing Asia. Within developing Asia, China dominates, being responsible for 70 per cent of the world increase since 2001. India is responsible for 10 per cent with the economies of South East Asia and Korea making up the balance. “Coal plays a unique role in the region: fuelling the growth of developing economies,” says Ina Pozon, Co-ordinator for WWF’s Asia Pacific Coal Initiative. “But coal use has to evolve if it intends to play a role in our carbon-constrained future. The industry can choose to be hamstrung by the environmental crisis, or to help avert air pollution and climate change by shifting to a more responsible use of coal.”

Coral reefs in Asia Pacific are again bleaching rapidly, caused by high sea temperatures. “Coral bleaching is not just a threat to the region’s tourism industry and biodiversity,” says Diane McFadzien, WWF Asia Pacific Policy Coordinator. “When corals are damaged then fisheries, coastal protection and cultures are damaged. This is the insidiousness of climate change, it is actually damaging and dangerous for the social, political and economic future of the whole region.”

Materials (download from )
WWF APEC briefing with key demands and background on APEC and climate change
Climate Change Impacts on Asia Pacific countries – overview over impacts on 19 countries in the region. Download from (coming soon)
Coral bleaching in Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean – for more info go to the NOAA Coral Watch Website for the latest sea surface temperature maps- showing hot water in AP and Caribbean
Coming Clean: the truth and future of coal in Asia Pacific provides a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of Asia-Pacific’s most critical fuel, coal. The report analyzes the external costs related to coal use and provides a roadmap for a responsible use of coal in a carbon-constrained world. (coming soon)


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