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Asia-Europe: Energy Challenges and Climate Change

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
May 2014 - Dec 2015 Rebecca STETTER Political and Economic Department Sustainable Development



Venue:
Beijing, China/
Almaty, Kazakhstan/
Bangkok, Thailand/
Paris, France

The issue of climate change is among the most important facing the international community. Within the debate about the responsibilities of individual nations to address the challenges presented by climate change, the most significant element is the discussions on issues associated with the future makeup of the global energy sector. As the world is forced to shift its trajectory to a more sustainable future, the implications for the global energy sector are enormous.

The economic development of Asia over the past two decades has seen the region develop as a key player in the global energy sector and the way in which major Asian countries develop their respective energy sectors over the coming decades will play a critical role in the global community either succeeding or failing in their goal of addressing the issue of climate change.

The E.U has been at the forefront of setting ambitious climate and energy targets over the past decade, however, as the global negotiations enter a critical period, European countries are now challenged to find a global accord that will see the world’s developing countries transition to a more environmentally-friendly energy mix.  

Against this backdrop, and responding to the priorities of ASEM leaders, in June 2014, ASEF Executive Director Ambassador Zhang Yan and Asia Centre President Mr. Jean-François Di Meglio signed a partnership agreement that set out the shared ambition of both organizations to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change and specifically the role of energy within the global debate about the transition to a more sustainable future.

The overall objective of the joint project is to examine global energy trends and to identify how developments in both Asia and Europe are impacting upon the global goal of securing a political agreement to address the challenges presented by climate change.

It is expected that the programme of activities, that will include seminars in both regions, will be effective in identifying both common challenges and shared perspectives between Asia and Europe in relation to this debate about the role of energy within the global debate on climate change.

The programme of activities compromises of four key events and will culminate in the publication of a high-profile report that will be developed in advance of the COP21 in Paris in the final quarter of 2015.

The project’s consists of four key events

Seminar - Coal and Climate Change: “The Chinese Way”? – June 2014, Beijing, China.

Seminar - Central Asia: Hydrocarbon development and the challenge of Climate Change – 16-17 April 2015, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Seminar - Panel on Climate Finance – 3 July 2015, Bangkok, Thailand.

Conference - Asia and Europe crossing paths on the way to COP21 – 29-30 September 2015, Paris, France.

Partners

  • Asia Centre

Project Updates

  • The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) will host its first event in Kazakhstan following the country’s induction into the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in 2014.

    ASEF, with the Asia Centre and the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will organise a workshop on 16-17 April 2015 inAlmaty, Kazakhstan to promote timely dialogue on the challenges of energy and climate change, leading up to the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21). This workshop will gather international and local officials, corporate representatives, and researchers to analyse how the balance between energy and climate change interacts with the ambitions of Central Asia to achieve robust and sustainable growth.

    The workshop’s venue, Almaty, is apt to promote Asia-Europe discussions on such issues, given Kazakhstan’s geopolitical significance as an oil-exporting country neighbouring China and Russia. Since the fossil fuel industry has been, and continues to be, crucial to the growth of many Central Asian countries, the workshop will explore how to develop this sector while limiting its negative externalities. These findings will be included in an upcoming report for COP21 negotiators on Asia-Europe cooperation in energy and climate change.  

  • The seminar Coal and Climate Change: the “Chinese way”? brought together Asian and European experts from the coal industry as well as representatives from international organisations including the International Energy Agency (IEA). The event was jointly organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Asia Centre on 26-27 June 2014 in Beijing, China.

    Over the duration of the 2-day seminar, the panellists and select audience discussed many major developments within China’s coal industry from the national as well as global perspectives. They also made a number of important contributions to the debate about the wider global implications of the role of coal within China’s energy mix over the forthcoming decades.

    The seminar was the first activity of a wider project Asia-Europe: Energy Challenges and Climate Change that examines key energy trends in Asia and Europe as they relate to climate change.