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Env.Eastasia

PI: Mizuki Sakai
Institution: University of Duisburg-Essen
Abstract:
Climate change and its mitigation are a big challenge for the current generation. Because of its borderless nature, the delay of the mitigation activity means increasing economic costs in the future for the entire world economy. Since ”climate” is a global public good, combatting the climate change needs a global framework such as the Kyoto-Protocol, and requires moreover active participation of all nations of the world. However, in absence of supra-national authority with a sanction function, overall participation could not be realized yet, because the incentives of free-riding prevail. To ensure effective implementation of a transnational climate policy, the global framework has to be complemented by regional frameworks against the backdrop of little incentives for the developing nations to participate actively in the global climate protection regime with binding commitment.

East Asia faces the challenge of incentive setting. Countries in the region have experienced extraordinary economic growth in the recent decades, and this rapid economic growth has been accompanied by increasing energy consumption and environmental damages. In the meantime the impact of climate change has become visible. In the course of the current regionalisation in this area, the co-operation towards climate protection is now one of the central issues. Given these reasons, we lay regional focus on East Asian nations in this paper primarily concerning the roles of China, Korea and Japan and analyse the possibility and impact of establishing an environmental governance agreement with the objective of obligatory emission reduction goals.

To set incentives for environmental co-operation in the social dilemma situation, some possibilities have been discussed in the theoretical literature such as trade sanctions, which deter free-riding behaviour. Particular challenges to this region are the wide gap in the degree of economic development and the relative weakness of inter-governmental bodies. No institutions with sanction function exist. Therefore we put emphasis of this paper on the concept of equity, which has emerged in the context of inducing co-operation. Burden sharing depending on the individual capability enhances the acceptance of the agreement and hence promotes environmental co-operation. Thus, this concept is expected to play a key role in establishing the transnational cooperation framework and setting allocation of payments among industrialized and developing nations. In order to receive active support from the nations, the environmental governance has to be designed corresponding to their equity criteria. The purpose of this paper is to find out a feasible environmental regime by specifying appropriate equity criteria in the region of East Asia.












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