November 30, 2020

How China, Japan and South Korea Can Make Their Carbon Neutral Goals a Reality—and Drive Change Worldwide

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

With China, Japan, and South Korea collectively responsible for one-third of global emissions, these East Asian powers' growing ambition is the biggest international climate change development since the Paris Agreement was ratified, write Jackson Ewing, senior fellow at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Alistair Ritchie, director of Asia-Pacific Sustainability at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

In an op-ed for the South China Morning Post, Ewing and Ritchie explain the central role that emissions trading systems (ETS) with progressively tightening emissions caps are likely to play in achieving net-zero goals in each of these countries.

For Asian economies currently exploring emissions trading as a climate strategy—Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines—recent announcements from the north signal a need to speed up, Ewing and Ritchie write. This is an example of how East Asia is becoming a key reference for other jurisdictions to learn about policies to achieve the more ambitious targets required to meet Paris Agreement goals.