Asia-Pacific Partnership Signals Shift in Gov't Attitudes

The call for industry to lead the technological charge reflects an emerging awareness within governments.

Published: 18-Jan-2006

FOR all the predictable cynicism it fuelled, last week's Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate could prove a signal moment in the international fight against carbon dioxide emissions.

While even capitalism's weekly bible, The Economist, was reduced to describing AP6 as just "more hot air", the conference actually offered important insights into the changing attitude of government and industry to climate change, its causes and potential solutions.

That the member governments turned so obviously to business to find answers to the conundrum of maintaining economic growth while containing climate change is crucial. The call for industry to lead the technological charge reflects an emerging awareness within governments, and even some non-government organisations, that if industry cannot produce solutions to global warming, then just who will?

Just as significant though was the the roll-up of executives from the region's major energy users and providers. The corporate debate over the veracity of climate change, and the theories on its causes, is essentially over. Industry is largely convinced and even those who remain sceptical recognise that inaction ultimately undermines their interests.

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