Asian Miracles and Climate Change

Review Article

Austin Environ Sci. 2018; 3(1): 1027.

Asian Miracles and Climate Change

Lane JE1* and Dieterlen F2

1Department of Environmental Sciences, Public Policy Institute, Switzerland

2Department of Environmental Sciences, Independent Scholar, Switzerland

*Corresponding author: Jan-Erik Lane, Public Policy Institute, Belgrade, 10 Charles Humbert, 1205, Geneva, Switzerland

Received: December 11, 2017; Accepted: January 30, 2018; Published: February 06, 2018


One may introduce a concept of Hawking irreversibility as the point where temperature has risen so much that the global warming consequences threaten the survival of mankind. The recent news out of China that its CO2s are increasing again makes this term highly policy relevant. Moreover, the methane emissions have started to augment, which also calls up Hawking irreversibility. The drive behind these dire developments is the endless zest for affluence and wealth, fueled by ever larger energy consumption. Asian miracle economies should take this warming seriously and start the implementations of COP21 Treaty,,

Keywords: Decarbonisation; Hawking irreversibility; GHGs; CO2S; Methane; COP21 Treaty goals; Solar power plants 


Climate scientists warn, already before the implementation of the UNFCCC Agreement from Paris 2015 that the decarbonisation plan decided in global governance will not be enough to stabilize temperature at + 2 Celsius, at most. Global average temperature will most probably be larger than the COP21 objective. At what point on the temperature scale, we move into Hawking irreversibility is not known. But a rise beyond + 4 degrees will have dramatic consequences for the ecology and human social systems.

A few days before the start of the UN global environment reunion COP23 (6-13 November 2017) in Bonn, the major study Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment (USGCRP, 2017) was published in washington [1]. It examines the global warming problematic from the point of view of the US and the world, based upon years of research by a large group of US scholars. It definitively recommends a combination of national and international policy-making to halt temperature rise, despite the fact that the US government is negative. It renders an impressive list of climate change impacts upon the US territory and points decisively at human causes. We must then ask: Can decarbonisation policies be implemented or managed? The COP23 by the UNFCCC reflects upon the very same problem.

The Asia-Pacific region has taken over economic leadership from the Atlantic region. Some 60 per cent of global GDP comes from the APEC countries [2,3]. And the Asian members plus India plan large increases in energy consumption up to 2040, but they show little interest in the greenhouse emission problematic, at least not in real action.

All countries in the world have formed a Common Pool Regime (CPR) to save the atmosphere from more GHGs, focusing only upon the CO2s. The global decarbonisation plan includes:

i) Stall the rise if CO2s by 2020 (GOAL I);

ii) Decreasing the CO2s by 30-40% by 2030 (GOAL II);

iii) More or less full decarbonisation by around 2075 (GOAL III);

iv) Decentralised implementation under international oversight, financial support and technical assistance.

These are enormous goals, as only one country-Uruguay-is near GOAL I and GOAL II. Can they be implemented? Will the Asian miracle economies implement them?

Present Global Predicament

The Green House Gases (GHG) have strong anthropogenic sources, being linked with socio-economic development or economic growth via the consumption of energy, especially the burning of fossil fuels, use of cement and emission of methane from land sinks, cows, microbes, etc. The UNFCCC has focused on halting CO2s and decreasing them in a gigantic decarbonisation policy globally in this century. Since 1970, global energy consumption has more than tripped. And the share of Asia has increased phenomenally. The Asian economic miracle started in Japan after the Second War, spread to the four miracles – Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore – only to include mainland China since 1980, as well as further widening to all of South East Asia and South Asia plus Kazakhstan (Figure 1).

This economic revolution has made Asia the set of factories of the world, raising affluence and wealth as well as diminishing poverty. The cost is clear, as the Asian Development Bank states: “Southeast Asia is also becoming a larger contributor to global GHG emissions, with the fastest growth in carbon dioxide emissions in the world between…. Deforestation and land degradation have been driving most of the emissions to date. Given the region’s vulnerability to climate change, curtailing global emissions' growth should be a priority consideration, to which the region can make an important contribution [4]. The ADB has its solution to the energy-emission conundrum, namely carbon capture or sequestration. However, it is a costly and flawed technology for removing CO2s. It pushed the GHG problem to the Earth’s crust, but it will not go ways. The same applies to the hope for an environmental Kuznets’ curve.

No kuznets’ curve for CO2s

Figure 2 shows that there is no Kuznets’ curve (first rising, then descending) for CO2: richer countries emit more CO2 than poor ones. International aviation is a very major source of CO2 emissions, and it is booming.

The CO2 emissions go with GDP growth, as the intermediate link is the ever expanding energy demand. Several Asian economies are now either mature, catch-up or taking-off economies [5-8].