A common carbon market in Northeast Asia? – Roundtable discussions in Hong Kong on how to connect China, Japan and South Korea
On March 23 and 24, 2017, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) participated in a policy roundtable on “Carbon Market Cooperation in Northeast Asia”. This exchange was organized by the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) which is headed by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Along with governmental, business and civil society stakeholders from China, Japan and South Korea, the Secretariat of the CPLC and CPLC members such as EDF, IETA, IFC and MIT engaged in discussions about the prospects, benefits and challenges of a common carbon market in Northeast Asia.
Based on the ASPI’s original input report “Toward a Northeast Asia Carbon Market”, the meeting aimed at crafting an ambitious work plan. The discussions among the experts at the table related to questions such as: What would it need to engage the public and the private sector in a constructive, tri-national dialogue on this opportunity? How could a common Northeast Asian market be facilitated through an smart “carrots and stick” approach? Which range of co-benefits can be expected from such a regional market? Should perceived differences in ambition levels potentially be accounted for through different mitigation values? How could the private sector’s concerns of fairness and competiveness be effectively addressed? To what extent can the vision of linked carbon pricing schemes in Asia be quantitatively underlined by putting numbers on the table?
With Singapore’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon tax in 2019 and China launching its national ETS later this year, carbon pricing is seeing another strong momentum in Asia. Expressing its firm interest in continuing and strengthening the cooperation with the CPLC, the ASPI is willing to take a crucial leadership and coordination role in advancing this agenda in one of the world’s booming economic regions. More Asian focused dialogues are planned for I4C in Barcelona, the UN General Assembly in New York, COP23 in Bonn and in the region itself.