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lead.jpg (22302 bytes)    Volume 3 
   Number 4
   26 October 1998 

IGES OF JAPAN TACKLES CLIMATE CHANGE
Shuzo Nishioka, Ph.D
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies


A newly established "brain" for sustainable development, IGES of Japan, has launched its Asia-Pacific oriented climate change research strategy. IGES, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, is an international non-profit research organization, established in 1998, based on the recommendation by the Ad-Hoc Commission on Global Environment in the twenty-first Century, an advisory committee to the Prime Minister of Japan. IGES started its activity with 40 researchers and support staffs on six major areas of urgent concerns in sustainable development of Asia-Pacific region; climate, urbanization, education, tropical forest, governance and new development pattern. The research policy of IGES fully aims to develop and formulate innovative policy instruments and environmental strategies for sustainable development.

The climate team, consisting of nine researchers from Japan, US, China and India, set up following urgent, mid-and long-term research agenda of strategic and policy analysis.

Urgent policy needs in preparation for UNFCCC COP 4

  • Institutional framework for the implementation of Emissions Trading (ET), Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

  • Clear idea of the definition of CDM;

  • Linkage between different types of flexibility mechanisms, such as CDM, Joint Implementation and emissions trading;

  • Development of institutional features of monitoring, reporting, enforcement, and verification mechanisms;

  • Assessment of the current knowledge and experience on baseline determination in order to formulate recommendations and criteria for JI/CDM baseline

  • Other institutional and policy issues remaining after COP III such as technology assessment, technology transfer, financing and broader participation

Mid-term research agenda

  • Integration of climate change policy and national energy, economic and pollution control priorities in the developing countries

  • Multilateral funding mechanism including how technology is assessed to transfer under the mechanism (comparison with other existing multilateral funding mechanisms)

  • Reporting, verification, monitoring, enforcement, non-compliance and the consequences of noncompliance under the Kyoto Protocol

  • Modalities for involvement of the private sector in implementation of the Kyoto Protocol

  • Developing country’s initiatives and potential for future participation

Ongoing research area

  • Analysis on economic structural change using dynamic economic models

  • Technology assessment and diffusion for climate policy: in particular, appropriate technology

  • Possibilities for new and renewable energy resources

  • Kyoto Protocol and the climate change agenda: Does regionalism make sense in Asia-Pacific?

  • Possibility of Asian bubble

  • Regional funding mechanism, operational entity for CDM

  • Regional institutions for regionalism

Results to be Achieved

The outcome of the research is provided to national policymakers, international negotiators, NGOs and the private sector resulting in the development of effective institutions, Laws and policies to prevent and mitigate climate change on the national, regional and international level. IGES and Climate Team in now expanding its research collaboration network with it partners who signed the Chanter for the Establishment of IGES; 8 national environmental ministries, 3 international organizations and 17 research and academic institutions from all over the world.

For further information; IGES, Shonan Village, 156-39 Kami-Yamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115, Japan; tel.: +81-468-55-3700; fax: +81-468-55-3709; e-mail: iges@iges.or.jp; Internet: http://www.iges.or.jp

Climate Change Team

Team Leader: Shuzo Nishioka, Ph.D

Senior Researcher: Naoki Matsuo, Ph.D

Visiting Researcher: Robert K. Dixon, Ph.D