Thus far, international negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have focused on emission reductions, the "targets and timetables" for doing so, monitoring and compliance regimes, and incentives in the form of finance and carbon markets. The failure of the recent UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 has highlighted the limitations of this approach.
In this lecture, Prof Subramanian will argue that the current approach of emphasising emission reductions creates a "zero sum" burden sharing arrangement in which countries do not benefit from being first movers, and which results in countries blaming one another for the climate change problem. The current narrative thus poisons the atmosphere for negotiations and makes it unlikely that a global deal would be reached. Prof Subramanian will propose a reframing of the climate change narrative -- away from a singular emphasis on emission reductions towards clean technology development and diffusion, and equitable access to energy-based services for economic growth. He will also discuss how such an approach might gain traction in the aftermath of Copenhagen.
Notably, the Asian Development Bank is playing an important role in the very areas that Prof Subramanian sees as important in achieving traction on the climate change agenda. Given this, Mr Um Woochong, Deputy Director General of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department at the Asian Development Bank, will discuss how Asia is likely to be affected by climate change and the steps that the Asian Development Bank is taking to address the issue.
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Prof Arvind Subramanian, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development Senior Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University & Um Woochong, Deputy Director General, Regional and Sustainable Development Department Asian Development Bank
- Thursday, 04 March 2010
- 12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Seminar Room 3-1
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road