November 4, 2021

To combat climate change, APEC should expand its environmental goods list.

According to an APEC Policy Support Unit policy brief, expanding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) list of environmental goods will increase Asia-response Pacific’s to the urgency of adaptation to and mitigation of the global climate catastrophe, as well as promote sustainability.

The APEC list of environmental commodities is a pledge made by leaders in 2012 to lower tariff rates on 54 goods to 5% or less by 2020, enhance access to environmental technologies, and contribute to green growth and trade liberalization.

Solar panels, wind turbines, bamboo flooring, and environmental monitoring, analysis, and evaluation systems are among the items on the list.

According to a press statement released by the APEC Policy Support Unit and received here on Tuesday, the trade of products on the list has risen significantly for the APEC region since then.

Between 2012 and 2019, APEC’s exports and imports of those 54 products climbed by 5.7 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively.

Likewise, intra-APEC trade of these products increased by 7%.

In comparison, during the same time period, global trade of the products on this list climbed by 6.4 percent.

“International trade allows for lower-cost access to environmental technologies and encourages competition to foster the development of environmental goods and services,” said Carlos Kuriyama, a senior analyst with the APEC Policy Support Unit.

“Moreover, international commerce has the potential to empower communities who create those items as well as benefit communities that need to use those goods to address environmental challenges,” he added.

Kuriyama noted that nearly a decade after APEC’s list was approved, there is still work to be done in a number of areas, including trade.

The addition of new products to the list may aid in environmental preservation and resource management.

“It makes logical to look into expanding the list. On the one hand, technology is evolving at a breakneck pace, resulting in the introduction of new environmental products; on the other hand, poorer economies could gain more from a global value chain approach to environmental goods “he stated

Kuriyama went on to say that a number of emerging economies are involved in the manufacture of intermediate goods and components that are crucial in the value chain of environmental goods.

Materials like steel, copper, silica, and molten salt, for example, could be used to construct concentrated solar power plants.

More products to encourage climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as other environmental issues, according to the policy brief, might help member economies fulfill their own environmental commitments.

New Zealand, which is hosting APEC 2021, has been spearheading the effort to update the APEC List of Environmental Goods and explore potential new environmental services.

At their next meeting on November 5, APEC Senior Officials are anticipated to continue their deliberations.

According to the policy brief, a more meaningful contribution to green growth demands a broader range of products from a trade viewpoint.

It urged APEC countries to consider include cleaner or more environmentally friendly goods on the list.

“Expanding the APEC List of Environmental Goods sends a positive signal to the world that APEC is a prominent forum for offering solutions to help address environmental concerns,” Kuriyama added.

“Making progress on the APEC List of Environmental Goods is especially critical at the COP26 conference this week, as parties aim to expedite action toward attaining the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,” he added.

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