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Asia ‘center of the universe’ in emission reduction – Figueres

Asia is now “the new center of the universe” concerning emission reduction efforts according to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Christiana Figueres.

The climate chief, during the Carbon Forum North America event held last week at Washington D.C., said the region currently leads the push toward the cutting of emissions through cap-and-trade and other market-based mechanisms, which is seen to be growing in the coming years.

For example, Ms. Figueres said while not much about China is written in the U.S. press, the country is the world’s No. 1 in solar panel manufacturing and second in wind global technology although even here it will soon be taking the top spot.

Seven provinces and large cities in China are reportedly developing their local voluntary trading system and drafting a national emissions trading program, with a technical support coming from the European Union and some specialized institutions.

Other countries are contributing. India has announced its plans to start an emissions trading scheme in the next two years; Japan is developing a bilateral trading scheme, while capital city Tokyo has established a metropolitan trading scheme since 2010; South Korea seeks to implement an E.T.S. in 2015; and Thailand, Indonesia and that are all working closely to create market-based mechanisms.

“As we move along in the time where climate change is inevitable, concerted efforts among different nations are crucial and urgently needed,” Ms. Figueres said.

“You are better off if you get involved in the design and the construction of the rules with which you will have to comply, rather than letting other write them for you,” the U.N. climate change chief warned.

Meanwhile, the executive secretary said the United States should become more involved and more active in the remodeling of the Clean Development Mechanism, a carbon credit scheme under the Kyoto Protocol.

“The U.S. could obviously choose to follow a rest and relaxation path, not participating in the progress of the markets. I would however argue that both U.S. and international interests are better served by active participation in the design and construction of the future market mechanisms,” stressed Ms. Figueres – EcoSeed Staff

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