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How can we help progress international agreement on climate change? Scale, movement and policy key in agenda points at WEIS 2012 in Shanghai

SHANGHAI(15 May 2012)As the World Energy Investment Summit 2012 held in Shanghai on 18 -19 September 2012 agenda, at the heart of the analysis of and progress on climate change are 3 important issues: scale of risk, response and opportunity, movement of countries/blocs and policy at the national and international levels.

This week, we add to our meeting notes for the international conference the question: How can we help progress international agreement on climate change?                                                                     

1.       What are risks can we foresee from unmanaged climate change?

Low-carbon seems to be the future growth story, but lacklustre international and national regulatory support, lack of liquidity and interest in maintaining the status quo for hydrocarbons prompt major players to proceed with the “business-as-usual” (BAU) model, seeking to escape the intolerable low ROI from clean energy projects.

The risk from inaction or BAU is immense. Greenhouse gas concentrations have increased to around 440 parts per million (ppm) of carbon-dioxide-equivalent (CO2e). If we continue BAU for 100 years, we would add 300ppm, taking concentrations to around 750ppm CO2e, bringing an increase of 5˚C, a temperature not seen on Earth for more than 30 million years—causing flooding, desertification and water scarcity that will cause extended conflict from massive migration and congestion

2.       What is the scale of the needed response to reverse this threat?

Starting at the 2010 global level of 47 billion tonnes of CO2e p.a., the most plausible paths well below 35 billion tonnes of CO2e in 2030 and well below 20 billion tonnes of CO2e in 2050 are crucial. Countries and activities must be unified at the heart of which must be projects in energy efficiency, the introduction of new low-carbon technologies and halting deforestation. The policies that we create should be wide yet specific enough to address

a.        Carbon pricing and regulation
Investment in and support for research, development and deployment of existing and new technologies
Enabling networks/grids (e.g. public transport)
Support for relevant long-term risks and capital markets
Provision of information on commercially feasible projects
Methods for valuing and acting on biodiversity
Regulation to improve the functioning of property markets

What opportunities lie ahead?

Many economies are already acting to establish themselves as pioneers of the new energy-industrial revolution. A competitive green race has begun—South Korea, parts of Europe, California in the lead. The flow of ideas astonish us—costs have been slashed in some key existing technologies (eg solar), deployment has moved quickly (eg wind), new idea have mushroomed (eg nano-batteries, algae, and more). Many firms have achieved, by careful focus, large improvements in energy efficiency.

4.       How are other countries and blocs moving on climate change and what are the initiatives being implemented?

The last 2 or 3 years has seen hesitation, fractiousness and regress in some of the rich world (US, Europe, Canada and Australia), partly due to the campaigning of special interests who would wish to maintain the status quo in terms of hydrocarbons. Some even attack the scientific basis for climate change. EU may be stuttering in its push to raise its legally binding emissions reductions ambitions from 20% to 30% cuts.

Movement over the last 2-3 years has been strong however in the emerging and developing world. Across the continents, we see intense focus and climate change action plans from China, Korea, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

5.       What are the national action and international agreements required to act as a world on the scale required?

The disappointing COP 15 (2009) in Copenhagen amplified mistrust by the appearance that rich countries had tried to fix the draft agreement amongst themselves and would then attempt to force it on developing countries. The more constructive COP 16 (2010) in Cancun confirmed the commitment from all major emitters in the Copenhagen Accord and on finance, the Green Climate Fund was established to pursue the Copenhagen goal of mobilising US$100 billion in public and private sources of finance for developing countries by 2020. Finally, during the most encouraging COP 17 (2011) in Durban, a timeline to create a plan to cut emissions has been laid out (includes action by all major countries of the world (such as China, India and the U.S.), which is a clear political success.

A way forward from now may be to recognise that there has been progress on the task of translating intentions into action and that there will be continued demand for offsets from Europe and Japan. That China will deliver to achieve targets of its 12th five-year plan. And that perhaps the creation of an alternative method to the Clean Development Mechanism that is less restrictive in what counts as emission reduction and is less bureaucratic.

6.       How can we fully benefit from our meeting in Shanghai?

Clarity on what is required is necessary, but not sufficient for action. There are strong vested interests since the investments and actions required are major and involve risk. Developing countries nurture intense, yet understandable sentiments about the responsibilities of rich countries. Most countries fear that if they act, others may not.

Delay is very dangerous. Yet progress on reducing global emissions can only occur if the policies involved could be integrated by key players like the United States, China and India. Developing countries must adapt. Developed countries must integrate efforts during a decade of radical debt management and deficit reductions, severe international macro imbalances and fragile global economy.

The transition to low-carbon growth, if well-managed, is a very attractive and lucrative path. WORLD ENERGY INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2012 is the most informed meeting place to connect investors, projects, technology and regulators to discuss investments, partnerships and capital-raising opportunities that ensure sustainability of your carbon business. Register now!

Join us in Shanghai, China on


18-19 September 2012


At the end of international conference, we aim to:

·         Understand the opportunities and challenges towards clean technology investments in Asia
Evaluate Asian clean technology as an asset class
Find out the investment appetite and criteria of Asian investors
Assess promising pre-qualified clean technology companies who are looking to raise capital
Seek investors with ready funds to invest in clean technology funds and innovation
Learn how to position your fund and technology better to increase investor attractiveness
Connect with leading players in the clean technology space across the globe
Convey industry concerns effectively to influence and shape international policy


Register today in one of these 4 easy ways:

·         Call us at +65 6844 2080,
Visit www.arcmediaglobal.com/weis
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