The 7th Asia-Pacific Virtual Forum on Adaptation to Climate Change was organized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and the Asia-Pacific Adaptation Network under the theme “Building resilience for all: a decisive decade for scaling up action”. The forum took place in March and formulated national planning for science and technology, energy and fiscal policy that takes into account the links between climate change, health and biodiversity.
These natural and ecosystem guidelines will serve as the basis for the Asia-Pacific region’s contributions to the United States Climate Leadership Summit; United Nations Conference on Biological Diversity (COP 15) in Kunming, China; And the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 60% of the world’s population (approximately 4.3 billion people). It has the fastest growing economy in the world, fueled by innovation in technology and cryptocurrencies that consume a lot of energy. This leads to the maximum increase in electricity production, mainly from fossil fuels (85%).
Three of the six largest CO2 emissions in the world – China, India and Japan – are located in the Asia-Pacific region, a region that produces about half of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, the region is also increasingly affected by extreme weather events.
As 2020 will be the COVID-19 pandemic and the warmest year on record, there is an urgent need to link economic growth with greenhouse gas emissions to shift the Asia-Pacific region towards carbon neutrality. Several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Bhutan, Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands and Nepal, have announced that they will be carbon-free by 2050; China has set a goal for 2060. These commitments are included in the NDC.
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The recently released IMF Governance Paper provides fiscal policy advice for the region, which focuses on three areas:
Increased use of carbon taxes
Increased resilience to climate change;
Increase consumption due to the epidemic for greener activities.
These recommendations address the challenge of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.
Turn digital innovation into action to tackle climate change in Asia Pacific
With the COVID-19 pandemic, industry digitization has entered a new phase of rapid development.
Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, which organizes events and publishes reports to raise awareness of the role of advanced technologies in the environment, climate change and the circular economy, explained:
“Today we are not faced with a transformation, but with two deeper transformations. The first, driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, 5G and more, is changing the behavior of governments, corporations and individuals in this new century. Climate change is destroying ecosystems, threatening biodiversity, food and water security and the future of life on our planet. The question for us is whether humanity can turn this digital revolution into action to combat climate change, and more importantly, can we do it before it’s too late. ”
As Zhao continues, “As more people connect to the Internet, more data is created and more devices connected to the web, the carbon footprint of the digital ecosystem increases.”
The Asia-Pacific region has tremendous potential due to the growing importance of mobile payments and the development of central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, in Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and other countries. The blockchain-based service network in China is developing a global network that will support future CBDCs from multiple countries.
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The adoption of 5G technology is a catalyst for using blockchain to improve scalability and interoperability. Huawei and ZTE in China; Samsung and LG Electronics in South Korea; Sony and Japan’s NEC are leaders in 5G technology.
Huawei was the first company in the world to implement 5G technology and ranked first as a global manufacturer of communications equipment. However, the United States is restricting the company’s access to American technology, which is essential for the production of modern 5G phones and new 5G-compatible mobile infrastructure. As a result, the company’s market share outside of China declined.