News - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements

Cooperation in East Asia to Address Climate Change

  • Robert C. Stowe
| Oct. 13, 2017

The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements conducted a research workshop in Shanghai on September 27, 2017 to examine how national governments in the region might cooperate to address the problem of climate change. Participants included social scientists (economists, political scientists) and legal scholars who have studied climate-change policy — as well as policy practitioners — from Japan, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Republic of Singapore, and the United States.

Harvard Center Shanghai
Harvard Center Shanghai 

Three countries in East Asia (People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea) together accounted for approximately 28 percent of global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in 2013. In addition, GHG emissions are increasing rapidly in the region. In order to address global climate change effectively, it is crucial that the countries of East Asia (as well, of course, as other large global emitters) design and implement effective climate-change policies — and work together in doing so. International cooperation can, if well designed and executed, increase policy effectiveness and reduce mitigation costs, hence allowing for increased mitigation ambition.

The workshop examined the status of climate change policy in the countries of East Asia and of international cooperation to address climate change. Participants also explored options for increased cooperation in the future. Attendees considered potential linkage among emissions-trading systems — and among heterogeneous policy systems — as one possible form of international cooperation, and how the Paris Agreement — including its Article 6 — might facilitate such cooperation in the region. Participants then examined various non-market approaches to international cooperation.

Harvard Center Shanghai Research Workshop

Each participant will write a one-thousand-word brief, based on her or his presentation or remarks in the workshop. The Harvard Project will release a volume containing these briefs in February 2018. The format and style of the volume is intended to make it accessible and useful to policy makers, climate-change negotiators, and stakeholders in industry and the NGO community, as they consider approaches to addressing climate change in East Asia and globally.

The Harvard Project is grateful to the Harvard Global Institute (HGI) for supporting the workshop and the preparation of the volume of briefs. HGI was established by Harvard University President Drew Faust in October 2015, with support from the Dalian Wanda Group and its chairman, Wang Jianlin. HGI builds on Harvard's long-standing global academic tradition by supporting scholarship and programs that promote cross-discipline, University-wide, collaborative efforts to address major global challenges. You may read more about HGI on the Institute's web site here.

The Harvard Project is also grateful to Harvard Center Shanghai for hosting the workshop and providing a superb venue in the heart of this global city.

The Harvard Project released a volume of briefs based on the workshop, in February 2018. The volume is available here.

Following are links to the workshop agenda, participant list, and presentations:

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Stowe, Robert. “Cooperation in East Asia to Address Climate Change.” News, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, October 13, 2017.

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