Confronting Environmental Change in East and Southeast Asia: by Paul G. Harris

By Paul G. Harris

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This publication is an edited number of concise, hard-hitting essays by means of a gaggle of foreign specialists and students that tackle the politics and coverage of environmental switch and sustainable improvement in East and Southeast Asia. Case experiences disguise environmental international relations in East Asia and techniques for sustainable improvement in Southeast Asia, together with eastern environmental coverage, China's weather switch international relations, the position of NGOs in shaping Thailand's guidelines on biodiversity, overseas suggestions and marine environmental security in Vietnam, sustainable improvement coverage in Taiwan, and the function of community-based clash administration in environmental safety efforts in Papua New Guinea.

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During the early phases of the climate change negotiations, MITI opposed freezing Japan's G H G emissions. However, MOEA wanted the freeze and, after these agencies' differences became news abroad, MOPA's position prevailed (Maull, 1991, p261). By 1990, Japan agreed that a treaty calling for the stabilization of GHG emissions was needed. This would force other developed country industries to compete on a level playing field with Japanese firms, which were already required to be more efficient (in the transitional stages Japanese firms would be at an advantage).

Some characteristics of environmental foreign policy in China and Japan China's environmental foreign policies are characterized by increasing cooperation and engagement on regional and global issues, often in line with the policies of other developing countries. China supports the notion of 'common but differentiated responsibility' - all countries should protect the environment, but developed countries have more responsibility to do so - and, more particularly, it generally supports regimes that benefit developing countries through transfers of aid.

This can prevent clear leadership, with differing goals and consensus-seeking among powerful groups stifling innovation. Policy-making therefore tends to be reactive and incremental. According to Calder (1997, pi), 'Institutions are, to be sure, crucial in shaping policy options everywhere in the world. ' Consequently, individual innovation is discouraged and political leaders - including even the prime minister - can be extraordinarily weak relative to the bureaucracy. The Japanese electoral system has been characterized by medium-sized electoral districts that contribute to a reactive and indecisive policy-making process (in both domestic and foreign policy) by increasing the influence of large factions within parries and by encouraging politicians to cater to small, sometimes localized, special interest groups.

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