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The climate regime beyond 2012: reconciling Asian developmental priorities and global climate interests

With a view to fostering constructive thinking and consensus-building on ways to strengthen the current climate regime, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) has been organising a series of national, sub-regional and region-wide consultations since 2005. This report summarises the findings from the third round of consultations, held in New Delhi (29-30 August 2007) and Beijing (13-14 September 2007), where four specific themes of importance to the Asia region and the future climate regime were discussed  – sectoral approaches, technology development and transfer, adaptation financing and mainstreaming, and developmental co-benefits of climate actions.

Among findings noted by the report are:

  • participating stakeholders in both China and India reaffirmed their interest in accelerating their countries’ transition towards a low-carbon economy in the long run, but stressed that the future regime should not constrain sustainable development in developing Asia
  • a few participants suggested that the future climate regime should focus on mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing in a more balanced manner than before
  • participants emphasized that the climate change regime should provide credible policy signals to enable long-term low-carbon investments in developing Asia, and that the basic principles (e.g. common but differentiated responsibilities) underpinning the current climate regime should continue to be applied to the future regime
  • participants noted that market mechanisms such as CDM are beginning to have a positive impact on developing Asia and argued for the reform of the carbon market through simplified methodologies and the inclusion of additional sectors at the international level
  • participants agreed that sectoral approaches offer a promising way to reduce GHG emissions while aligning with developmental policies in industrial and land use sectors in developing Asia

From an Asian perspective, recommendations for strengthening the climate regime beyond 2012 are summarised as:

  • the design of the future climate regime should not constrain sustainable development in developing Asia
  • climate negotiators should strive to provide credible policy signals for the continuity of market mechanisms while ensuring equity, environmental integrity and cost effectiveness
  • future climate regime discussions can facilitate the rapid uptake of low-carbon technologies by creating regulatory frameworks and legislation that is designed to improve finance, build synergies between technology initiatives and enhance the flexibility of the intellectual property rights regime
  • the future climate regime should facilitate the mainstreaming of adaptation concerns in development planning and assistance across Asia by providing practical examples, improving capacities and requiring all development policies to undergo an “adaptation check”