APEC’s $15 trillion climate change opportunity Media Release

Sep 05, 2007 - 12:27pm

The Climate Institute has today urged business leaders at APEC to call on world leaders attending Saturday’s meeting on climate change to build on the Kyoto framework and deliver short term greenhouse reduction targets to create investment certainty and open up a potential $15 trillion (US) carbon market.

“Analysts suggest that global carbon markets could be worth $15 trillion up to the middle of the century. To effectively tap those markets and avoid dangerous climate change we need short term targets, which create much needed certainty for business investment.” Said Climate Institute Chief Executive John Connor.

“Without knowing the rules for carbon markets, business cannot make informed investment decisions. This means delayed investment, and even making investments that continue to drive rising global greenhouse pollution levels.  Short term targets and effective markets can harness the speed and innovation of the business community in avoiding dangerous climate change.”

The independent Climate Institute placed a half page advertisement in the Australian Financial Review today as the ABAC Business Leaders Summit began its two day meeting ahead of their briefing of APEC leaders on Saturday morning.

“The decisions the international community makes in the next few years will determine whether dangerous climate change can be prevented or not. An effective international response and carbon market can only be built on a bedrock of short-term emission reduction targets for industrialised countries.”

“The current Kyoto framework has created a global market which is driving tens of billions of dollars of business investment into reducing greenhouse pollution.  Some have tried to undermine the Kyoto framework by saying it ends in 2012 and that developing countries like China and India remain untouched by it.

“What is not widely understood is that China, India and other developing countries are already avoiding substantial amounts of greenhouse pollution under the Kyoto Protocol’s investment program called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

“By 2012, the CDM may generate around two billion tonnes of emission reductions in developing countries – the equivalent to the 2003 carbon dioxide emissions of Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Mexico and the UK combined.

“Around $6.5 billion was invested in CDM credits in developing countries in 2006 and this is expected to leverage around $32 billion capital investment in reducing emissions. Longer term estimates of CDM emission reductions suggest up to six billion tonnes of emission reductions annually.

“APEC could play an important and constructive role in building on and strengthening the Kyoto framework. As part of this APEC leaders need to endorse the need for binding short-term pollution reduction targets for industrialised countries. Long term political goals are fine, but with real targets that create real investment opportunities, business can be a powerhouse of solving the climate change challenge.”

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