In a Bloomberg television interview on Friday, SIIA chairman Simon Tay shared his views on the APEC effort to consider climate change issues. He welcomed this given the importance of the issue for many of the countries in the region, and as a step forward for those like the USA and Australia who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. He hoped that countries would gain from energy efficiency so that the growth in the region could be less coupled to growing energy use and larger carbon footprints. Tay also recommended that APEC might usefully reduce tariffs on climate change friendly services and technologies.
However, he also cautioned against APEC seeking to negotiate climate change reductions or to set up an alternative system to the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations. Looking forward to the Bali Conference of Parties in December, he urged that APEC help raise the issues and, together with the upcoming ASEAN and East Asian Summits, to be held in Singapore, create momentum towards the Bali COP.
The SIIA’s work on environment has increasingly looked at climate change issues, along with the regional haze, in its connections to economic, security and international relations. Tay was in Australia on the eve of APEC and again in its aftermath at dialogues for businesses and think tanks.