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November 10th, 2008:

Civic Exchange Book proposes Asia as “Game-Changer” in Climate Change Negotiations

New Energy FinanceMichael Liebreich 10 November 2008

Book Launch

HONG KONG, 10 November 2008 (Monday) – Public policy think tank Civic Exchange released a new book: “Climate Change Negotiations: Can Asia Change the Game?”, which argues that Asia should take the initiative to be a “game-changer” in upcoming global climate change negotiations in Poznan and Copenhagen. The book offers a range of new Asia-based initiatives which might support this process. In particular, developing Asian countries could use their national energy efficiency and sustainable development plans and targets to demonstrate initial commitments to greenhouse gas reductions.

Christine Loh of Civic Exchange outlined a proposed ‘Prosperity Round’ of climate negotiations: “Two vital issues that are needed for climate negotiations to proceed meaningfully: first, the voice of Planet Earth needs to be heard and this can only be done by including regular briefings of the negotiators of the latest science focus on ecosystems changes that are taking place and the urgency to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; and second, as the world needs to transit out of its fossil fuels-based industrial structure, a new, low-carbon, development path must be created.”

Special guest at the launch, Li Shaoyi of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) introduced ESCAP’s strategies in balancing energy security for Asia and the global concern of climate change: “Pursuing a low carbon development pathway is an effective and probably the most effective way to break the energy security and climate impasse faced by Asia and the Pacific region”, said Mr. Li.

By video link from London, Michael Liebreich of New Energy Finance discussed the importance of low-carbon technologies and recent developments on the financing of low-carbon technologies.

The book is the product of a year-long collaboration between Civic Exchange and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), which began with a background paper on Asian climate change policy “Climate Change Negotiations: An Asian Stir Fry of Options” published in December 2007. Building on that first publication, in May 2008 Civic Exchange and SIIA invited experts from within Asia and around the world to present their perspective on Asia’s key issues in the post-Kyoto agreement; culminating in this new publication.