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New regulations will drive the carbon management in Asia-Pacific

Carbon reporting requirements in Asia-Pacific will increase due to several factors, such as increased regulatory requirements, growing awareness of climate change, and greater demand from investors and other stakeholders for disclosure of non-financial information, says Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst firm explains the efforts undertaken by countries in the Asia-Pacific region to reduce CO2 emissions; the overall pace of the introduction of carbon regulation in the region; the market drivers that are increasing the need for carbon management; why IT-based sustainability management is becoming a business imperative; and what companies can do to optimize both business results and sustainability performance.

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region, under pressure to reduce air pollution, are implementing new rules and regulations to reduce and mitigate the effect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Despite all these initiatives, China and India are still the biggest emitters of CO2 in the world.

Surupa Mahto, Ovum analyst and author of the report, said: “Increased infrastructure investment has helped China to sustain its economic growth during difficult times. However, this increase, along with rapid urbanization, will further increase the country’s CO2 emissions.”

Ovum also notes that the implementation of number of carbon reduction measures is challenged mostly by lack of capital, lack of knowledge, lack of strong policy frameworks, and uncertainty about the market forces and government action on climate change.

Mahto commented: “Many attempts to develop strong carbon-reduction policies are facing tough opposition from the business community.”

New policies and regulations to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions are likely to become critical priorities on the environment and economic development agendas of Asia-Pacific countries.

For instance, Australia passed the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and the Clean Energy Future package containing 19 bills. The CFI scheme has now commenced and is operational, while a carbon pricing mechanism will be introduced from July 2012 under the Clean Energy Future package.

China, on the other hand, is planning to launch pilot carbon emissions trading schemes by 2013 in the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, and in the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, and establish a national carbon trading platform by 2015. China also plans to implement a carbon tax by 2013.

The Thai government is planning to implement policy for green growth, pricing, and legal tools to help move toward a low-carbon and environmentally friendly economy.

Taiwan has proposed a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Bill and an Energy Tax Bill. The government plans to set up a national “cap and trade” system under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, while the Energy Tax will provide consumers financial incentives for energy conservation and carbon reduction in day-to-day activities, and the adoption of high efficiency, low-carbon equipment and products.

“The main recommendations for enterprises are to invest early in carbon and energy management tools to prepare for future regulation, whereas vendors will need to provide solutions that are flexible and adaptable, and support future business initiatives” concluded Mahto.

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