Global Environment

The Fourth Asia Pacific Seminar on Climate Change - Section 3

3. STATUS OF NATIONAL ACTIVITIES TO COPE WITH GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

(Item 5 of the agenda)

A. Communications by Annex I countries to COP 1

Australia

26. In accordance with the provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Australia submitted its National Communication to the FCCC Secretariat by the deadline of September 21, 1994. The Australian delegate presented an overview of the process involved in preparing Australia's National Communication. The aim of the Australian Government was to produce their National Communication in an open and transparent manner. This was achieved through a consultative process involving key stakeholder groups. It was hoped that this would ensure the accuracy and completeness of the National Communication. Information sources used in preparing Australia's National Communication involved Government Departments, submissions from key industry and conservation stakeholder groups and a number of national strategies and policies, including Australia's National Greenhouse Response Strategy, the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development and the National Forest Policy Statement. Australia's Greenhouse Gas Inventory constituted a major input to the National Communication. An Australian inventory methodology was developed according to IPCC guidelines and took specific Australian local conditions into account. This methodology was subject to a public review process. Work on refining inventory compilation and methodology development activities was continuing. Emissions projections scenarios to the year 2015 were part of the inventory compilation and development project. Emissions projections were essential to the assessment of the effects of policies and measures on future greenhouse gas emissions. A brief outline of Australia's National Communication noted that the document represented a detailed examination of Australia's approach to meeting its obligations under the FCCC, setting out the strategies and measures taken to address the enhanced greenhouse effect and providing detailed information on factors within Australia that influence the nature of its response to greenhouse gas emissions. Information presented in the National Communication included Australia's greenhouse gas inventory and projected emissions; Australia's vulnerabilities to both the impacts of climate change and to potential impacts of response measures; outline of research activities; descriptions of greenhouse education and information activities; assistance provided to developing countries; and future directions Australia intended to take.

Japan

27. Japan ratified the UNFCCC in May 1993, and has been actively implementing policies and measures to curb global warming under the National Action Programme. Of Japan's total CO2 emissions, more than 90% comes from fossil fuel combustion. Among the sectorial sources of CO2 emissions, the industrial sector accounts for about 40% of total CO2 emissions. However, the CO2 emissions from transportation and residential/commercial sectors have been increasing remarkably. Further efforts addressing those activities were therefore needed. In accordance with its obligations to the FCCC, Japan submitted its First Communication Report in September 1994. Some of the lessons learned through the experience of preparing this Report may prove helpful for other countries of the region. These observations are as follows:

28. First, the Inter-Ministerial Council played an important role in the preparation of the Report. The Council was originally established for domestic purposes, but proved to be quite an effective tool for preparing the Report;

29. Second, the IPCC/OECD Guidelines of Inventory were quite useful to Japan as it drafted an inventory of GHGs. While Japan did not have any difficulties in applying the guidelines, the flexibility of the method should he maintained as it is now; and

30. Third, as far as Japan is concerned, there is a fair amount of scientific information and data about CO2 emissions. Japan's knowledge about methane (CFL) and N2O is relatively limited. There is a need for data accumulation in these fields. The Environment Agency of Japan is ready to launch cooperative projects in this region.

B. Report on national activities

31. Experts from participating countries presented overviews on the status of their national activities on climate change.

Bangladesh

32. There have been a number of studies conducted in Bangladesh on climate change issues. Latest among them were (i) Country Study on Bangladesh (1993) and (ii) Climate Change in Asia: Bangladesh (1994), both undertaken with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank; and (iii) Assessment of the Vulnerability of Coastal Areas to Sea level Rise and Other Effects of Global Climate Change (Pilot Study- Bangladesh) (1994) under assistance from the Royal Government of the Netherlands. Currently, another study has been initiated with support from the Untied States Country Study Initiatives. The present study captioned 'Bangladesh Climate Change Study' aims to make a detailed inquiry into the subject. The components of the study are: (a) Energy Emission, (b) Coastal Zone Vulnerability, (c) Recommending Adaptation and Mitigation Options, and (d) Awareness Raising and Dissemination Programme. All four components involved a significant number of non-governmental organizations along with concerned government agencies. In defining and making general observations on greenhouse gases, the study has listed CO2, CO, CH4, CFCs and VOCs among Radiatively Active Trace Gases (RATGS) in order to inventory them as GHGs for the purpose of quantitative studies. The principal anthropogenic sources of emissions were identified as (a) Primary Energy Sources (commercial fuels like natural gas, imported oil and coal used for generation of heat, steam and electricity as Secondary Energy), b) Traditional Energy Sources (Biomass combustion - mostly rural energy), and c) Other Emission Sources (CFCs, agriculture, ruminant livestock, etc.) Natural gas is Bangladesh's only commercial Fossil Fuel Primary Energy (FFPE). Its utilization is distributed as follows: 43% for electricity generation, 34% for fertilizer production, 16% for industry, 2% for commercial and 5% for household purposes. Available national statistics indicate a total Traditional Energy consumption of over 10 million tons of coal equivalent from various sources of biomass. Bangladesh does not produce any CFCs, and the import of these substances is very limited - negligible compared to that of the developed countries. A programme has been initiated under UNEP funding to replace the only CFC-based aerosol plant with an LPG propellant-based unit. It has been proposed that the refrigerator and service sector be treated as an essential sector to meet the development goals of Bangladesh.The approach and methodology of the Emission Inventory of the current on-going study follows IPCC methodology. However, a major data-gap exists with respect to methane emissions from rice-fields, wetlands, and ruminant livestock. The methodology consists of an Input-Output Model. Inputs were systematized under two broad heads: (a) secondary data and (b) supplementary primary data, and were to be run through a computer simulation model (the G2S2 model developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute) and subsequently quantified as Outputs. The emission inventory exercise would help implement the country case study on Bangladesh in the Asia Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy (ALCAS) Project, supported by ADB.

China

33. The Coordinating Group on Climate Change was established under the State Council of China to oversee studies on climate change issues in China. There were four sub-ordinate working groups:

Working Group 1: is responsible for scientific assessment on climate change and study on a General Circulation Model. Responsible units were the National Bureau of Meteorology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Working Group 2: is responsible for environmental impact assessment studies on climate change in China. Responsible units were the National Environment Protection Agency and the Department of Social Development of the State Science and Technology Commission. This will be submitted to IPCC.

Working Group 3: was responsible for scenario studies. These would examine the social effects of climate change and adaptation measures. The Energy Research Institute of the State Planning Commission is the responsible agency.

Working Group 4: was responsible for negotiation. The Department of Legislation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the responsible agency.

Working Group 1 and the NEPA would also he responsible for the compilation of the inventory of GHG sources and sinks, the design of control measures for GHG emissions, and the design of policy and legislation for the control and prevention of environmental pollution. Research efforts that had been completed to date included: a preliminary inventory of GHG emissions from energy sources and industries, agricultural sources, and from forest and land use.

34. However, coefficients used for calculating CO2 emissions were derived from developed countries and have been found to he of limited application to China. The key problems identified were: (1) China had more than 7 types of coal, some of which do not meet those specifications defined in the IPCC/OECD manual; and (2) the coal oxidation factor is quite different from the emission factors of advanced countries - the combustion efficiency of facilities in China was far lower than in more advanced countries. Consequently, there was a need for primary research to provide more accurate emission factors for China. It is China's intention that a complete inventory of GHG sources and sinks he compiled using IPCC/OECD methodologies, but using emission factors appropriate to the local situation.

35. There were plans to undertake primary research in the following areas: 1) CO2 emissions from energy, including boilers and home stoves (the combustion efficiency of power stations is in accordance with default values provided); and 2) CH4 emissions from wet rice cultivation (while work has been undertaken in the South and the North of China, there remained some uncertainties which have not yet been resolved).

36. China is a large consumer of energy, with coal supplying most of the demand for energy (about 75% of energy generation is from coal). During the rapid economic growth of the last few years, energy consumption has greatly increased, showing an average annual growth rate of 9%. As this had considerable implications for global climate change, China began making efforts to save energy and increase energy efficiency. The energy consumption of development has been reduced significantly, and is expected to decline further. As energy accounts for 80% of GHG emissions in China, it was critical to introduce further energy conservation measures.

Fiji

37. Fiji is a signatory to both the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) of the United Nations and the Montreal Protocol, and is therefore obliged to observe the regulations. The country has instituted a programme whereby Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) will he eliminated by the year 2000 through the imposition of import restrictions. All of Fiji's ODS are imported. To inventory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) sources and sinks, a work programme has been put in place with appropriate funding from the United States Country Programme. There is reason to believe that GHG sinks in Fiji far exceed emissions or sources. Therefore, the country is a net sink, with 90% of its area being ocean. Large areas of tropical rain forest and planted forests add to the size of the sink. GHG sources are small except for the use of imported petroleum products for energy generation. Coal and fuel wood are a minor GHG emitter, while combustion of imported coal and bagasse, a by-product of sugar industry, is another GHG source. With a large sink and yet still threatened by climate change, Fiji has to consider adaptation assessment to mitigate likely sea level rises, as it is composed of many islands. Accordingly, an intensive programme has begun to study one island, which has been earmarked with the hope of applying findings uncovered there to similar island situations.

India

38. India ratified the FCCC on November 1, 1993. India actively participates in the INC and continues to serve on its Bureau as Vice-Chairman. India is also serving as Vice Chairman of the IPCC Subgroup A "Energy & Industry" of Workgroup II. India fully supports the FCCC, was committed to its prompt establishment, and continues to participate in international efforts to find a coordinated, equitable and effective set of actions to combat the threat of Climate Change. India recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but feels that countries should share the burden of abatement in a way that reflects their relative levels of development and differential capacities. India's past and present contributions to global CO2 emissions are negligible. India was preparing its communication of information under articles 4 & 12 of the Convention and intends to meet its deadline for submission (. March 21, 1997). The preparation of a national inventory of net emissions for a vast developing county like India is an evolving exercise, which will have to involve original research embodying field measurements and strengthening of endogenous capacities. India was fortunate in having almost 125 years of continuous instrument records of climatological parameters at a large number of locations throughout the country. Proxy data, historical accounts and the instrumental records of over a century reveal that the Indian summer monsoon rainfall has exhibited stable long term characteristics since historical times, with extremes (floods and droughts) being a part of its natural variability. Total gross CO2 emissions from sources amount to roughly 2.2 per cent of global emissions. The current gross CO2 emission per capita (carbon equivalent) in India was 0.2 T/yr, against the world average of 1.2 T/yr. At present, coal accounts for about 60% of fossil fuel use in caloric terms, followed by liquid petroleum at about 30%, with the rest being accounted for by natural gas. Steel, power, cement, and the railways are the major industrial consumers of coal, and consume over 70% of the domestic production. A recent study at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, found a marginal net sequestration of 5 Mt of carbon in forests in the reference year of 1986. Effective forestry and conservation legislation have played a major role in maintaining and enhancing India's carbon sinks. Other sinks include the extensive oceans around the Indian sub-continent.

Indonesia

39. Most of Indonesia's agricultural land is in low-lying areas. The country consists of more than 17,000 islands, with a total area of 9.8 million sq. kilometers, and a coastline exceeding 81,000 kilometers in length. The total population is more than 180 million, with approximately 110 million living in the coastal areas. Global climate change will affect not only the agricultural sector but also socio-economic indicators, including health. In response, Indonesia has made efforts to address global climate change. In 1990, the "National Committee on Climate and Environment" was established. The Committee was coordinated by the State Ministry for Environment and the members were from various institutions (government, private, and non-government organizations). In 1992, Indonesia signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was ratified by Indonesian Law No. 6 on August 1, 1994.

40. Indonesia has established some studies in technical areas relating to global climate change, which were funded by the National budget and also through international support (bilateral and multilateral). The on-going projects that have been implemented are: Feasibility Study for Sustainable Reforestation of Degraded Grassland in Indonesia (supported by the Kingdom of Norway) and Indonesia Country Study (US Government). Projects in the future include an "ALGAS" project funded by ADB.

Kazakhstan

41. The main conclusions of the work thus far undertaken to inventory GHG sources and sinks indicated that the contribution from separate sources of GHG emissions were identified. More than 90% of all GHG emissions by mass were CO2. More than 11 tons of CO2 are emitted on a per capita basis every year (nearly 200 million ton/yr.). Atmospheric CO2 absorption by the forests of Kazakhstan was estimated to be less than 2.5% of total emissions. The most accurate data are those for heat power stations, which account for 49.5% of the total emissions of CO2, 39% of the total emissions of NO2 and 19% of the total emissions of CO. The data was obtained by analyzing CO and NO2 contained in waste gases, and the CO2 estimates were obtained by balance calculations. The probable error does not exceed 5%. The assessment of possible reductions of CO2 emissions in the energy sector through the reconstruction and modernization of old heat power stations (HPS) and the implementation of steam-gas cycles, as well as replacing HPS by renewable resources was carried out. Based on available data, the rise of local mean annual temperature for the period 1891-1990 of 1oC is approximately twice the mean global increase. According to the GCM scenarios (CFDL, CCCM, GFDL-T) the mean annual temperature would increase by 5-6.9oC by the time a doubling of CO2 is observed. There is expected to be an increase of 2-3oC (CDFM scenario) by 2010. Corresponding changes in precipitation are less significant. Preliminary vulnerability assessments based on the DSSAT model for double CO2 concentrations show that the spring and winter wheat yields would decrease by 12% in Northern Kazakhstan.

Malaysia

42. Malaysia has been actively involved in climate change activities, signing and ratifying the Framework Convention on Climate Change on June 9, 1993 and July17, 1994 respectively. Malaysia is fully committed to fulfilling its obligations under the FCCC. With rapid growth and development, environmental concerns are becoming more prominent and the government has adopted a "no regrets policy" in carrying out its development projects. Participation in various regional projects on climate change has not only increased the national capacity to undertake such projects in future but also heightened the awareness of policy makers on the effects of climate change. Methodologies need to be standardized for results to be comparable and applicable to other regions. Malaysia has undertaken to monitor important GHGs such as CO2, and CH4, as well as ozone and rain acidity in order to enhance the database on the tropics.

43. A National Climate Committee was recently established to assist the Government in addressing climate change matters, particularly those obligations contained in the FCCC. A project proposal would be submitted soon for UNDP/GEF funding in order to develop the national capacity to prepare and report on the sources and sinks of GHGs, in fulfillment of its obligations of Articles 4 and 12 of the FCCC.

Mongolia

44. Mongolia was the 35th country to ratify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the end of 1993, Mongolia joined the US Country Study Program and began compiling the National GHG Inventory. The Mongolian National GHG Inventory tracks emissions of gases such as CO2, CH4, NOx, and CO from following main sectors: Energy, Industry, Agriculture, Land-Use Change and Forestry, and Waste. Estimated total emissions for 1990 from the above-mentioned sectors were 19,2524 Gg CO2, 330.1 Gg CH4, 0.9 Gg NOx and 83.3 Gg CO. Emissions from combustion for power generation, and the conversion of grasslands to arable land are the largest sources of carbon dioxide emission. Livestock emitted significant amounts of methane. But, in comparison with the developed countries. Mongolia's contribution to world GHG emissions is very small.

Myanmar

45. The National Commission for Environmental Affairs (NCEA) is directing the work for conservation and protection of environment. Myanmar has signed and ratified both the Biodiversity Convention and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. A national policy adoption of these Conventions has been proclaimed. GHG emissions for 1987 to 1991 were estimated in accordance with OECD methodologies, and those for the year 1990 were also estimated in accordance with IPCC guidelines. Myanmar is preparing for and participating in Myanmar Agenda 21, the ALGAS Project and the National Greening Project. Public education on fuel wood substitution is being carried out. Monitoring and modeling of climate changes are being undertaken. There were plans to hold the Asia-Pacific Meeting on the Follow-up to the International Convention to Combat Desertification from April 10-13, 1995.

Nepal

46. The Hydrology and Meteorology Department is pursuing programmes on climate issues. These are constrained by the lack of adequate resources. However, a number of ongoing programmes on environmental monitoring may produce a considerable database and provide the foundation for further studies on climate change.

Papua New Guinea

47. The delegate from Papua New Guinea noted that the fact that the Pacific island countries have been invited to participate in this seminar for the first time is significant, as the small island states of the Pacific stand to lose so much more (their very existence) than others in this region. Papua New Guinea was the 16th country to ratify the UNFCCC, having signed on June 13, 1992. PNG is committed to the implementation of the UNFCCC and is planning to complete its inventory of GHGs and sinks in the time frame stipulated in the convention (3 years after enactment). PNG is actively participating in SEAFRAME - a South Pacific sea level and climate monitoring project. PNG has recently adopted the national forestry and conservation plan, which requires the government and traditional landowners to co-operate in the management and conservation of forests. This is a reversal of previous wanton exploitation practices. PNG strongly urged the member countries of the Asia-Pacific region to lend their support to the AOSIS countries in their efforts toward the adoption of the AOSIS protocol at the COP-1 in Berlin, Germany.

The Philippines

48. The Philippines has created the Inter-agency Committee on Climate Change, which is responsible for formulating policies and response strategies, and establishing working groups to assess and monitor climate change. Current research and projects include: modeling the impacts of climate change and the effects of UV-B radiation on rice plants, and methane emission from rice paddies. Another study was a comprehensive assessment of the acceptability of least-cost options to mitigate CO2 emissions, particularly in the following sectors: industry, power plants, business and households. Furthermore, a comprehensive national study will address all the major elements being considered under the emerging Philippine National Action Plan for Global Climate Change. One of the study elements was the development of a national inventory of GHG emissions and sinks. PAGASA had already initiated an emission inventory in 1992 and the draft inventory was published in September 1993. Therefore, this proposed study will not only update the existing inventory but further develop it into a more comprehensive one using the methodology stated in the OECD Experts Meeting entitled "Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emission and Sinks." The overall final Integrated report is scheduled to he published in September 1994.

Republic of Korea

49. Rapid economic growth and the expansion of energy-intensive heavy chemical industries have caused a rapid increase in energy consumption. The projected long-term primary energy demand without adequate measures in Korea is 177 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE) in 2000 and 253 million TOE in 2010. These are approximately two and three times the levels of energy used in 1990 (93 million TOE), respectively. The results of recent research on the national inventory of CO2 in 1990 are as follows: energy related parts - 65 million tons; industrial process - 4 million tons; sinks - 10 million tons; producing net emissions of 59 million tons. If energy policy and consumption patterns are not changed, the emissions level of CO2 will increase to 141 million tons in 2000, and 198 million tons in 2010. To cope with this trend, Korea's efforts are focused on maximizing energy efficiency in every sector. Beside this, Korea has been preparing national inventories of emissions and sinks of GHGs and will submit this inventory before March 1997.

Sri Lanka

50. The country has a strong base in agriculture but is becoming increasingly industrialized, resulting in increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sri Lanka prepared its first GHG inventory in 1991 on a programme initiated by SMRC, and the results of the study were published in 1993. In the preparation of the inventory, there were several problems resulting from insufficient country-specific data and uncertainties in the application of certain emission coefficients, which are sometimes site-specific. The need for measurement of emissions under local conditions was highlighted. Sri Lanka signed the framework convention on climate change in 1992 and ratified it in 1993. Some of the other work which had already been carried out in connection with the climate change activities include the ADB study to assess the vulnerability to climate change and an impact study based on scenarios developed by CSIRO of Australia At present, work was being carried out on (a) Emissions inventory update, (b) Mitigation options; (c) Vulnerability assessment and (d) Awareness. The inventory update studies relate to energy, industry, transport, agriculture, forestry, land use and waste disposal. An inventory based on top down procedures for the energy, industry and transport sectors was being completed. Several other programmes relevant to climate change ongoing were the Clean Air 2000 programme through UNIDO; ambient air quality monitoring programme and sanitary landfill project funded by the World Bank; implementation of the forestry master plan; and the ODS phasing-out programme supported the Montreal Protocol funds. In addition to the above, several working groups work on and monitor activities of relevant issues to address climate change. These activities are the Climate Change Co-ordinating Group (CCCG) at the Ministerial level; the team of Country Studies Programme on Climate Change (CSPCC); the Working Group on National Environmental Action Plan (NAEP); and a Monitoring Committee at the implementation level. Further follow up activities based on the studies are being planned.

Thailand

51. In 1991, Thailand began a project entitled "Preparation of a National Strategy on Global Climate Change". The project, which was sponsored by the ADB, focused on the preparation of a National GHG emissions inventory to identify the major emission sources, and on the development of pragmatic, "no-regret" policies intended to mitigate GHG emissions in a manner economically and socially compatible with local needs. Thailand conducted a study entitled "Thailand's National Study on Climate Change", sponsored by the US National Studies Programme Support to Address Climate Change, and in the process of formulating a national plan in support of the Asian Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy Project (ALGAS). The ALGAS project was executed by ADB and sponsored by the UNDP under the GEF. Thailand was planning to hold a series of seminars and workshops immediately after the Berlin Conference, so that all critical issues related to climate change can he conveyed to those agencies concerned. Some institutional arrangements have been put in place to help Thailand meet its obligations under the convention. Notably, a National Committee on Climate Change has been created to co-ordinate the country climate change research and policy strategies.

Viet Nam

52. In recent years, a great number of issues on climate change have been discussed and considered, and the following responses were selected for implementation: improvement of the scientific baseline to detect climate change; arraying different studies on climate change; preparation of greenhouse gas inventories; participating in a training programme to promote the implementation of the UNFCCC; and participating in the Asian Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Study. To date, a National Programme has been drafted and a national implementation committee has been established to carry out all tasks related to the implementation of UNFCCC and Projects concerned, especially those of greenhouse gas emissions.

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