Fri, Feb 29, 2008 - Page 8 News List

Making challenges opportunities

, Darson Chiu 邱連生

INCREASING OIL PRICES are both an advantage and disadvantage to the world.

On the one hand, the rising oil price obviously impacts the global economy negatively, since it raises production costs and increases the potential of higher inflation. On the other, higher oil prices discourage the further consumption of crude oil, which has been widely recognized as one of the major factors contributing to global warming.

The economic slowdown might affect our short to medium-term quality of life, but climate change caused by global warming could seriously ravage future generations.

The world's attention has been drawn to the recent growth of GDP in emerging nations. When we consider their growth as a solution to the problems of regional poverty, we should remember that the same economic growth can also harm our community, society, region or even planet.

There is no reason to trade sustainable development for temporary satisfaction. It is not rational to blame emerging nations because the developed world has also contributed to environmental damage. However, seeking a cure is now more important than identifying the causes and we need to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations.

Everyone should keep in mind that saving the planet is the only option we have. Many international organizations have initiated various projects and initiatives to deal with climate change, but it would be more feasible if those organizations could also identify their incentives. This would increase the numbers and the willingness of participants and stakeholders to search for solutions to the climate change issue.

At an international level, Taiwan cannot ignore climate change and focus only on economic growth. Although Taiwan does not have access to international forums such as the UN, the nation can still make good use of its existing channels, such as APEC and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), to help in the fight.

To better manage the impact and causes of global warming and natural resource depletion, Taiwan initiated an international project, "Climate Change and Green Opportunities: Business, Society and Cooperation" during last year's PECC general meeting in Sydney and the executive committee meeting in Singapore.

The objectives of this project are to explore opportunities for growth and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific economies that also address the issue of climate change. Different from other proposals, the project has attempted to provide incentives to make it more feasible.

Efforts devoted to dealing with climate change could usher in new production methods and different developmental perspectives, which could potentially generate opportunities for regional cooperation and innovation. Despite individual and joint efforts devoted to resolving the problem of climate change, the project team from Taiwan wants the Asia-Pacific region to further explore ways to resolve the issue and enjoy the byproducts generated by the process. This concept therefore aims to build a regional partnership for member economies to fully share experience, knowledge, expertise and views on how to cope with and manage climate change.

The project will also seek opportunities in business, society and cooperation for the growth and development of the various economies in the region at different stages of maturity. The project team provisionally identified three specific areas to target.

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