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I Asia Is a Key for a Sustainable Low-Carbon Society

GHG Reduction Potential in Asia

Toshihiko Masui, Shuichi Ashina, Shinichiro Fujimori, and Mikiko Kainuma

Abstract Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Asia accounted for approximately 38 % of global emissions in 2005. Considering the rapid economic growth expected in the coming decades, emissions from Asia in 2050 are projected to double the 2005 levels if efforts are not made toward achieving low-carbon societies (LCSs). The reduction of emissions in Asia is imperative for the transition by 2050 to an LCS worldwide that has halved GHG emissions. The LCS transition by Asian countries will not be an easy task. In order to accomplish this transition, it is vital that stakeholders including central and local governments, private sector enterprises, NGOs and NPOs, citizens, and the global community tackle it with a focused and common vision of the society they wish to achieve, while cooperating with one another and being aware of the roles they need to play. In addition, careful attentions should be placed on the diversity of the Asian countries when it comes to the implementation of countermeasures. Depending on the country or region in Asia, the level of development, amount and type of resources, climate conditions, culture, and other factors differ, and the actions that are effective may vary accordingly.

In order to analyze the feasibility, in this study two future scenarios, namely, advanced society scenario and conventional society scenario, are developed. In addition, “Ten Actions toward Low Carbon Asia,” a guideline to plan and implement the strategies for an LCS in Asia, was developed. The ten actions are the following:

Action 1: Hierarchically connected compact cities

Action 2: Mainstreaming rail and water in interregional transport

Action 3: Smart ways to use materials that realize the full potential of resources Action 4: Energy-saving spaces utilizing sunlight and wind

Action 5: Local production and local consumption of biomass Action 6: Low-carbon energy system using local resources Action 7: Low-emission agricultural technologies

Action 8: Sustainable forestry management

Action 9: Technology and finance to facilitate achievement of LCS

Action 10: Transparent and fair governance that supports low-carbon Asia

The contributions of the ten actions have been quantified by a global computable general equilibrium model. The model outputs showed that GHG emissions in Asia can be reduced by 20 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2), i.e., 68 % of the emissions in the reference scenario, in 2050, if all the actions are applied appropriately.

In practice, on the other hand, it should be bear in mind that we need the smart strategies to meet the LCS pathways in each country depending on each development stages. For that purpose, knowledge sharing becomes important. It should be noted that the actions presented in this report are not the only pathway to achieve an LCS. The important point is to use this report to encourage discussions among stakeholders and to develop specific actions for each country or region in Asia.

Keywords Asia • Greenhouse gas • Low-carbon society • Transportation sector • Building sector • Industry sector • Renewable energy • Scenario • Global computable general equilibrium model

 
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