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International Cooperation for Knowledge-Sharing Towards Realising a Low-Carbon Asia

This book was written by experts and researchers who are making serious efforts to realise low-carbon development in Asia. On the way to low-carbon development is a very tough challenge that has never before been accomplished. Moreover, we have to lay out a new development pathway in a short span of time and then overcome various actual difficulties. Indeed, it will be a major contribution to the world if Asia can head in the direction of low carbon. However, there are three major obstacles to low-carbon development in Asia.

First, there is still no full-fledged system bridging science and policy to develop science-based policies. Second, policies responding to climate change have not yet been integrated into national development policies, and some policies have been formulated dependent on funds, resources, and knowledge from developed countries. Hence, in some countries, it is not sufficient to foster and make use of research communities in-country due to such constraints. Third, regional cooperation and collaboration are not fully matured as ways by which people can share similar environmental and developmental stages.

The only way to accomplish development that follows a new pathway in a very short time is to foster a research community in-country. In this way, we can promote science-based policymaking by facilitating discussions between policymakers and the research community, and go ahead with knowledge-sharing in the region by making full use of regional cooperation.

Japan has been conducting substantial international cooperation contributing to GHG reduction for approximately 20 years. However, it is high time for Asian countries to blaze a new trail towards realising low-carbon Asia under their own initiative. The Low Carbon Asia Research Network (LoCARNet) is a knowledgesharing community, composed of researchers and those concerned who support the challenges being faced by developing countries themselves. With such network collaboration, Asia is making steady progress in the direction of low-carbon development. In 2014, at the LoCARNet annual meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, participants launched a declaration entitled “Asia is ready to stabilise the climate”.

Utilise Asia's Full Force and Make the Leap to Stablise the Climate

The decade starting from COP 21 could well be the turning point for a major transition for world civilisation. In a business-as-usual scenario, Asia will account for about half of the world's economy, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions in 2050, and if the region does not take this situation seriously, it will be impossible to make any significant global and historic changes. Now we are about to enter the age of substantial transition. For Asian countries that have not yet been locked in to high-carbon societies, it is indeed the very best opportunity to move forward to create a new low-carbon civilisation led by Asia.

In fact, this is what the world is very much looking forward to. In the past, it was Japan that succeeded in leapfrogging from the devastation of World War II to make a miraculous recovery and become an economic powerhouse. This was as the result of innovative technologies brought about by the oil crisis during the 1970s, which gave Japan a chance in a million to spring back from environmental problems associated with industrialisation and urbanisation and to overcome what had been an energy self-sufficiency rate of almost zero.

Asia can play a very significant role in turning the current climate crisis into opportunities for new development, so that the region can realise its potential and lead the way in low-carbon development. We will be more than happy if this book can provide confidence and hope to people not only in Asia but also across the whole world.

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