APEC Leaders will consider climate change, energy security and clean development as key themes for their 2007 retreat In Sydney.
The use of fossil fuels for transport and electricity production is a major factor in the increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which contribute to climate change and APEC has already launched initiatives, primarily through the Energy Working Group (EWG), to more broadly promote clean and efficient energy production and use.
In 2001, APEC developed the Energy Security Initiative (ESI), which comprises short-term measures and long-term policy responses to address the challenges facing the region's energy supply. APEC's key activities aimed at practical outcomes on clean development and climate change include:
I. Energy Investment and Trade
APEC is developing mechanisms that could encourage banks to more fully consider the savings from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) investments.
Natural Gas Trade. APEC Best Practice Principles for Natural Gas Trade to promote financing and investment, technology transfer, and transparent permitting processes for liquid natural gas (LNG) facilities are being developed.
Environmental Goods. APEC is seeking to develop a list of environmental goods that could be updated regularly and used as a reference for regional trade. APEC is also conducting training on environmental goods focusing on renewable and clean energy technologies and water and wastewater treatment.
An APEC Energy Trade and Investment Study and Roundtable in 2008 will identify trade and investment barriers to the greater use of cleaner and more efficient fuels and technologies in the APEC region and discuss ways to overcome these barriers.
II. Energy Efficiency
Mitigating the effects of climate change through increased energy efficiency measures is promoted by APEC in a variety of ways:
The APEC Energy Standards Information System (APEC-ESIS) provides government and industry with information on testing standards, minimum energy performance standards and labeling requirements for a range of equipment traded in the APEC region.
Increasing highway transport and passenger transport system efficiency is an important issue for the APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency and Conservation. This includes the examination of a range of policies for improving the fuel efficiency and the analysis of transportation data to track energy efficiency improvements.
An APEC Energy Peer Review Mechanism is being developed for APEC member economies to undergo a voluntary progress review, relating to energy policy reforms and implementation of initiatives aimed at attaining energy efficiency goals.
III. Energy Technology
Technological advances have created opportunities to reduce emissions in a number of areas:
The APEC Expert Group on New and Renewable Energy Technologies (EGNRET) designs projects to assess, develop, and promote renewable energy technologies. This includes a sourcebook of hydrogen codes & standards for APEC member economies and projects focusing on developing best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings.
The APEC Expert Group on Clean Fossil Energy (EGCFE) sponsors studies and training to help expand the use of clean coal technologies and natural gas in electricity generation.
Nuclear Power is an important source of low-emission energy generation in the region and APEC Energy Ministers have been active in encouraging relevant economies to ensure the safety, security, seismic, health and waste handling aspects of civilian nuclear energy are adequately addressed.
IV. Transport Emission And Alternative Fuels
Recognizing that the transportation sector contributes large-scale emissions and is the leading sector for oil demand growth in the APEC region, APEC is working with industry to improve fuel efficiency and promote alternative fuel use.
APEC Transportation Ministers have directed the Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) to work with experts on sustainable policy approaches to address emissions from aviation operations. A first APEC seminar which developed options to reduce aviation emissions based on mutual consent, was held from 10-11 August in Singapore.
The APEC Biofuels Task Force is overseeing projects such as an assessment of biofuel resources and supply potential and establishing guidelines for biodiesel standards in order to enhance APEC biodiesel trade.
V. Preparedness And Adaptation
Across a broad range of sectors APEC fora are working to increase awareness and preparations for the potential repercussions of climate change, including:
The APEC Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG) will conduct a project to help member economies reduce negative economic impacts, and protect lives and properties by providing climate prediction information. The ISTWG is also assisting in the development of an early warning system of high impact climate changes.
The APEC Marine Resources Conservation Working Group (MRCWG) has developed projects on climate change adaptation to deal with issues that include rising sea levels.
VI. Dialogue With Business Sector
Public-private sector partnerships have become an important ingredient for the success of government policy in addressing the challenges of climate change. APEC provides a forum for government-to-business dialogues including:
The Energy Business Network (EBN) was created to provide an industry perspective on the key energy challenges that could be factored into government decision making. This is particularly relevant when considering issues relating to climate change.
The 2007 APEC Energy Business Forum enabled Energy Ministers and senior energy industry representatives from a wide range of APEC member economies to discuss ways to deal with the impact of high energy prices and climate change on the efficiency of energy use and options for clean energy supply in buildings, industry, electric power generation, and transportation.
VII. Cooperation With Other Organizations
Cooperation and partnership between international organizations on energy security, climate change and other environmental challenges is essential for each to make a valid contribution through their specific area of expertise. For APEC this includes:
The EWG collaborating with the International Energy Agency to build dialogue on energy statistics and indicators, energy technology development and oil security. The EWG will also submit, as a partnership initiative led by Australia and Mexico, a report on "Energy for Sustainable Development: Fostering Regional Energy Cooperation in APEC" to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.
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