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Asian Energy and Environmental Policy: Promoting Growth While Preserving the Environment

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  • Zhang, ZhongXiang

Abstract

Asia has truly experienced spectacular economic growth over the past 15 years. However, this economic progress has come at a high cost. It has led to unprecedented environmental consequences. The ecological footprint shows that, despite the fact that one-fifth of the population in Asia still lives on less than US$ 1 per day (PPP-adjusted), the region is already living beyond its ecological carrying capacity. The region is facing a dilemma. On the one hand, continued economic growth is needed to alleviate the poverty of the two-thirds of the world’s poor living in this region. On the other hand, that economic growth will further place tremendous strains on the natural environment. In order to extricate itself from this difficult position, the region needs to shift the conventional pattern of “develop first and then treat the pollution” to a different trajectory of sustainable development. To that end, this paper examines a variety of policy responses at national, regional and international levels to deal with growing concerns about the environmental challenges in Asia in order to help to put the region on a more sustainable development path. In the context of national responses, special attention is paid to the following issues: coordination between the central and local governments, market-based environmental instruments and industrial policies, tougher emissions standards for mobile and stationary sources and for fuel quality, policies to promote energy efficiency and the use of clean energy and biofuels, the integration of environmental policies with economic and sectoral policies, and engagement of the private sector through e.g., ecolabelling, green government procurement, corporate ratings and disclosure programs, and drawing the support of financial institutions to promote improved corporate environmental performance. It is concluded that having the right policy mix, coupled with strengthened cooperation at national, local and regional levels, will ensure continuing economic growth in the region without compromising its limited ecological carrying capacity and environmental quality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12224.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12224

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Keywords: Energy policy; Market-based environmental instruments; Asia;

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References

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  1. Zhang, ZhongXiang & Assunção, Lucas, 2002. "Domestic climate policies and the WTO," MPRA Paper 13223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 1999. "Estimating the size of the potential market for all three flexibility mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol," MPRA Paper 13088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "Toward an effective implementation of clean development mechanism projects in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3691-3701, December.
  4. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2006. "China, the United States and technology cooperation on climate control," MPRA Paper 12801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Is it fair to treat China as a Christmas tree to hang everybody’s complaints? putting its own energy saving into perspective," MPRA Paper 12276, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu, 2001. "Pollution and Capital Markets in Developing Countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 310-335, November.
  7. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "Can China afford to commit itself an emissions cap? An economic and political analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 587-614, December.
  8. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2001. "Why did the energy intensity fall in China's industrial sector in the 1990s? the relative importance of structural change and intensity change," MPRA Paper 13149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Dasgupta, Susmita & Jong Ho Hong & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu, 2004. "Disclosure of environmental violations and the stock market in the Republic of Korea," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3344, The World Bank.
  10. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 1999. "Estimating the size of the potential market for the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," CCSO Working Papers 199920, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  11. Zhang, Zhong-Xiang, 2007. "China is moving away the pattern of "develop first and then treat the pollution"," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3547-3549, July.
  12. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 2000. "Meeting the Kyoto Targets: the importance of developing country participation," CCSO Working Papers 200013, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  13. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "An assessment of the EU proposal for ceilings on the use of Kyoto flexibility mechanisms," MPRA Paper 13151, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Zhang, ZhongXiang & Maruyama, Aki, 2001. "Towards a private-public synergy in financing climate change mitigation projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(15), pages 1363-1378, December.
  15. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
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