Climate change will affect the countries of Asia Pacific in many different ways. The latest science as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has defined the impacts on specific countries, in much more detail than previously available.
This document shows that the countries of APEC will be at the front line of climate change impacts and they therefore have a strong imperative to act decisively to avoid dangerous levels of warming and causing irreversible damage to ecosystems.This requires that global warming be limited to well below 2oC above pre- industrial levels,
The APEC region will also determine whether the worst impacts of dangerous climate change will be avoided. Energy generated or derived from coal, oil and other fossil fuels, and deforestation are the two main sources of global greenhouse gas emissions. APEC economies presently account for approximately 60% of the world’s energy generation and use – mostly sourced from coal and oil – and this is projected to rise significantly in coming decades because of the growing populations and technological and manufacturing capacity of APEC economies.
WWF proposes that APEC and ABAC delegates resolve:
1. That climate change is a grave threat to the economies, societies and the natural environment of the Asia-Pacific region;
2. That the global objective of climate change policy should be to avoid a warming of 2°C above pre- industrial levels because this should avoid the worst impacts of climate change;
3. That in order to avoid a warming of 2°C above pre-industrial levels long-term greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere need to be stabilised at about 400 parts per million carbon dioxide equivalent and to achieve stabilisation at this level global greenhouse gas emissions need to start to fall by 2015 and be reduced by about 50% of 1990 levels by 2050;
4. That achieving emission reductions of this magnitude in an equitable manner will require a global framework of emission reduction targets, timelines, policies and measures – including measures to assist developing countries to pursue a highly efficient, low emission pathway to development – to be in place by 2012;
5. That business in the Asia-Pacific region would benefit from the early adoption of emission reduction targets.
Climate Change Impacts on APEC CountriesIt is important for all decision makers to recognise that the cost of not acting to prevent dangerous climate change severely outweighs the costs of action. The Stern review of the economics of climate change has put the cost of inaction as high as 20% of global GDP.To this end the following document summarises the latest science as reported by the IPCC, for each of the APEC countries (where available). We would invite you to learn more about your own country’s very real vulnerabilities, by referring to your respective section in the following pages.
- Climate Change Impacts on APEC Countries for WWF Australia, IPCC summary by Jonas Bengtsson, 2007