The Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network organized the 7th Asia-Pacific Virtual Forum on Climate Change Adaptation on the theme of “Achieving Sustainability for All: A Critical Decade of Progress”. The forum took place in March and aimed to develop a national adaptation plan for science and technology, as well as an energy and tax policy that takes into account the links between climate change, health and biodiversity.
This nature and ecosystem policy will form the basis for the Asia-Pacific region’s contribution to the US Climate Summit; United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15) in Kunming, China; And the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Asia-Pacific region makes up 60% of the world’s population (about 4.3 billion people). It is the fastest growing economy in the world, supported by energy-intensive technology and cryptocurrency innovations. This leads to the maximum growth in electricity production, mainly (85%) from fossil fuels.
Three of the six countries with the largest carbon dioxide emissions in the world – China, India and Japan – are located in the Asia-Pacific region, a region that produces about half of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, the region is increasingly exposed to extreme weather events.
With 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic and the hottest on record, there is an urgent need to link economic growth with greenhouse gas emissions to ensure the Asia-Pacific region moves towards carbon neutrality. Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Bhutan, Fiji, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Nepal, have announced their target of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050; China has set a goal of 2060. These commitments are included in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
On the topic: The year of the pandemic ends with a symbolic solution to reducing and sharing carbon emissions.
A recently issued branch document of the International Monetary Fund provides advice on fiscal policy for the region, focusing on three areas:
Increase the use of carbon taxes
Improving resilience to climate change;
Increasing epidemic costs for greener activities.
These recommendations address the challenge of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.
Transforming digital innovation into action to tackle climate change in Asia and the Pacific
With the COVID-19 pandemic, industrial digitalization has entered a new phase of rapid development.
Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, who organizes events and publishes reports to raise awareness of the role of advanced technologies in the environment, climate change and the circular economy, explained:
“Today we are not witnessing one shift, but two profound ones. The first, driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of things, 5G and more, is changing the way governments, companies and individuals will operate in this new century. As for the second shift, change Climate, it destroys ecosystems, threatens biodiversity, food and water security and the future of life on our planet. The question for us is whether humanity can transform this digital revolution into actions to address climate change, and most importantly, we can do it before it is too late. ” .
As Zhao continues, “The more people use the internet, the more data is created and more devices are connected to the web, the greater the carbon footprint of the digital ecosystem.”
The Asia-Pacific region has great potential thanks to the increasing importance of mobile payments and the development of central bank digital currencies or central bank digital currencies in countries such as Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, among others. China’s blockchain-based service network is developing a global network that will support future CBDCs from various countries.