Tag Archives: Environment

Links between youth, climate change and security

The combined pressures of climate change and growing youth populations will influence security environments and affect already fragile contexts, according to a new UNICEF report co-authored by peacebuilding charity International Alert and the Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and commissioned by UNICEF UK.

The report, titled Climate change, violence and young people, is based on four case studies from Egypt, Kenya, Indonesia and Guatemala, and illustrates the growing challenges these countries face: weak governance, low resilience to the impacts of climate change, significant ‘youth bulges’ (populations with a high number 15-29-year-olds), livelihoods vulnerable to environmental change and fragile underlying security conditions. The timeframe for this study looks out to 2050, when the effects of climate change and demographic growth will be more pronounced.

The report shows that regions where large youth bulges will be present in the coming decades generally have low resilience to climate change impacts and already experience poor governance and social and political instability. Without adequate planning and preparation in those vulnerable countries, the pre-existing security risks may be exacerbated by low resilience to climate change, and may compromise sustainable development.

The new research finds that the combined effects of climate change and growing populations are putting additional strain on already stressed governments and social systems. If not well managed, pressure on basic service provision such as health, energy or education can disrupt people’s lives, particularly amongst young people.

Large youth cohorts can boost economic growth under the right conditions. However, they can also agitate, sometimes violently, for political change when their economic needs are not met, and climate impacts are likely to complicate economic growth and increase pressure on livelihoods”. (Climate change, violence and young people, 2015)

In turn, instability and fragility also impair economic performance, erode people’s resilience and limit their capacity to sustainably adapt to change, further increasing vulnerability to climate change.

The report provides some key findings and recommendations in order to inform appropriate responses and policies:

  • Tackling disaster risk in a manner that is sensitive to the political context, especially specific dynamics of conflict or fragility, provides opportunities to reduce long-term disruption to youth education, livelihoods and well-being that can follow from disasters and potentially increase the risk of conflict;
  • Forward-looking policies that invest in education, secure employment opportunities and representation in governance can avoid further marginalising youth, and instead harness their potential to boost growth and development;
  • Creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth that provides opportunities for young people and is resilient to future climate impacts may prove a challenge in the coming decades, particularly for states with already weak governance capacities;
  • Building economic and social capital to promote peace and stability will be particularly relevant in countries that face concurrent demographic and climate risks;
  • Exploring further the links between population, resources, economy, governance and how the interactions between these factors can positively or negatively reinforce security trends.

Press Releases: Remarks on Climate Change at COP-20

SECRETARY KERRY: Todd, thank you very, very much. Thank you all for being here. Thank you very much, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to share a few words here on what is, by necessity, a quick trip, and I apologize for that, and I am grateful for your steadfast efforts to get us over the finish line.

Todd and I have worked together for a long time now, going all the way back to my time in the Senate, and I appreciate, Todd, all the work that you and the entire delegation have been doing. I just had a chance to meet with them. And I thank you not just for your work here in Lima, but for your work all around the world.

I also want to thank a few other people who are here today, if I may – our terrific Ambassador in Peru, Brian Nichols; the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres; Environment Minister of Peru, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal; and all of the other diplomats, scientists, experts, activists, all of you concerned citizens who are hard at work in order to make sure that we get this right.

I’m also delighted to say that because of all that hard work, I understand we now have enough pledges from the international community to meet and exceed the initial Climate Green Fund target of 10 billion. And the United States is very proud to be contributing 3 billion, and we are grateful for the announcement of countries like Australia, Belgium, Colombia, and Peru that they have made in recent days to help get us over the hurdle. All of this will help to ensure that this fund can succeed in helping the most overburdened nations of the world to do more to be able to respond to climate change. And finally, I want to thank Peru for hosting the COP-20, a critical stepping stone to the agreement that we must reach in Paris next year.

Now for Peru, climate change is personal. It will determine whether future generations will know Peru as we know it today, as we have known it, or whether today’s treasures are confined to history. Think about it: Peru is home to 70 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers, to nearly all of the world’s major ecosystems, and to more fish species than any other country on earth. But already, almost half the volume of many glaciers has melted away just in the last 30 years or so. Ecosystems are visibly being destroyed before our eyes. And fisheries are threatened. So this is not just a fight by Peru; it is a fight for Peru.

And this is not just another policy issue. Measured against the array of global threats that we face today – and there are many – terrorism, extremism, epidemics, poverty, nuclear proliferation – all challenges that know no borders – climate change absolutely ranks up there equal with all of them. And I challenge anyone who has thought about the science or listened – actually listened carefully to national security experts tell us that these dangers are real – I challenge them to tell us otherwise and to show us otherwise. I might add that we have, as Todd mentioned, the distinguished former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Prize winner who was the leader with all of us on this issue, but the first among equals, believe me, in his passion and commitment to this. And I’ve often heard him reciting the numbers of studies and the amazing amount of evidence that has been tallied up versus the paucity of a few usually industry-paid-for false analyses that try to suggest otherwise. And while no one here believes that a global climate agreement is going to be the silver bullet that eliminates this threat, I think everybody here can agree that we certainly won’t eliminate it without an agreement.

Now I know that everybody in this room is committed, all of us, but I think when you’re among the committed, you have a responsibility to be particularly candid. It seems that every time I speak at an event about climate change, someone introducing me, as Todd did today, said, “John Kerry’s been to every major gathering since Rio,” and it’s true. But I’ll tell you something, that’s kind of troubling. Because it was in Rio, as far back as 1992, when I heard the secretary-general, as Al did when we were there, declare, “Every bit of evidence I’ve seen persuades me that we are on a course leading to tragedy.”

That was 1992. This morning, I woke up in Washington to the television news of a super-storm rainfall in California and Washington State – torrential, record-breaking rain in record-breaking short time. It’s become commonplace now to hear of record-breaking climate events. But this is 2014, 22 years later, and we’re still on a course leading to tragedy. So this is an issue that’s personal for me, just as it is for you, absolutely.

I did spend those years working on climate change during my time in the U.S. Senate, and I’m not surprised at all that Al Gore is still here, a veteran of Lima and a veteran of every other meeting, and a veteran of writing and speaking and leading on this in an effort to try to make a change. We were working on this since the 1980s, and both of us can remember 1988, the first hearing we held in the United States Senate on this issue, when Jim Hansen told us then that climate change was real, it is here, and it is happening now. That’s 1988.

I appreciate the remarkable leadership that Al has provided on this issue for all that time, but this year, I’m not at this meeting, nor is he, just because of our personal histories here with climate change. I can tell you I’m not here in that role. I’m privileged to be here as President Obama’s lead international advocate that this issue should be personal for absolutely everybody – man, woman, child, businessperson, student, grandparent. Wherever we live, whatever our calling, whatever our personal background might be, this issue affects every human on the planet, and if any challenge requires global cooperation and effective diplomacy, this is it.

Now I know it’s human nature at times to believe that mankind can somehow defy Mother Nature. But I think it is the plight of humanity that, in fact, we cannot. And whether we’re able to promptly and effectively address climate change is as big a test of global leadership, of the international order – such as we call it – it’s the biggest test of that that you’ll find. Every nation – and I repeat this as we hear the debates going back and forth here – every nation has a responsibility to do its part if we’re going to pass this test. And only those nations who step up and respond to this threat can legitimately lay claim to any mantle of leadership and global responsibility. And yes, if you’re a big, developed nation and you’re not helping to lead, then you are part of the problem.

Rest assured, if we fail, future generations will not and should not forgive those who ignore this moment, no matter their reasoning. Future generations will judge our effort not just as a policy failure, but as a massive, collective moral failure of historic consequence, particularly if we’re just bogged down in abstract debates. They will want to know how we together could possibly have been so blind, so ideological, so dysfunctional, and frankly, so stubborn that we failed to act on knowledge that was confirmed by so many scientists in so many studies over such a long period of time and documented by so much evidence.

The truth is we will have no excuse worth using. The science of climate change is science, and it is screaming at us, warning us, compelling us – hopefully – to act. Ninety-seven percent of peer- reviewed climate studies have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible. And I’ve been involved, as many of you have, in public policy debates for a long time. It’s pretty rare to get a simple majority or a supermajority of studies to say the same thing, but 97 percent over 20-plus years – that is a dramatic statement of fact that no one of good conscience or good faith should be able to ignore.

Now you only have to look at the most recent reports to see in all too vivid detail the stark reality that we are faced with. Scientists agree that the emission of climate pollutants like carbon dioxide, methane, soot, hydrofluorocarbons all contribute to climate change. In fact, basic science tells us that life on earth wouldn’t exist at the heretofore 57 degrees average temperature Fahrenheit which allows life to exist. Without a greenhouse effect, life wouldn’t exist, and if the greenhouse effect is good enough to provide you with life itself, obviously, logic suggests that it’s also going to act like a greenhouse if you add more gases and they’re trapped and you heat up the earth. This is pretty logical stuff, and it’s astounding to me that even in the United States Senate and elsewhere, we have people who doubt it.

People agree that energy sources that we’ve relied on for decades to fuel our cars and power our homes – things like oil and coal – are largely responsible for sending these warming gasses up into the atmosphere. And they agree that emissions coming from deforestation and from agriculture also send enormous quantities of carbon pollution into our atmosphere. And they agree that if we continue down the same path that we are on today, the world as we know it will change profoundly and it will change dramatically for the worse.

Now you don’t need a Ph.D. to be able to see for yourself that the world is already changing. You just need to pay attention. Thirteen of the warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, with this year, again, on track to be the warmest of all. We’re getting used to every next year being the warmest year of all. It seems almost every year that happens now.

In 2013, countries in Southern Africa experienced the worst droughts that they had seen in 30 years. In Brazil, they saw the first – worst drought in half a century. New Zealand really – recently experienced a drought so bad that farmers had to slaughter their dairy cattle and sheep because they didn’t have enough food and water to keep the animals alive.

And the historic droughts in some parts of the world are matched only by historic floods in other parts. In June of last year, India was hit by the worst monsoon flooding in almost a century. Nearly 6,000 people lost their lives. What’s really disturbing is that the science has been telling us loud and clear that this is coming at us, and if we continue down the current path, the impacts are expected to increase exponentially.

For example, scientists predict that by the end of the century, the sea could rise a full meter. Now, I’ve had people who say to me a meter doesn’t sound like that much to some people, but let me tell you: when it comes to a rising sea, one meter would displace hundreds of millions of people worldwide, cost hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity. It would put countless homes and schools and parks – entire cities and even countries – at risk.

Scientists also predict that climate change could mean even longer, more unpredictable monsoon ceilings – seasons and more extreme weather events. And while we can’t tell whether one particular storm is specifically caused by climate change, scientists absolutely do predict many more of these disastrous storms are likely to occur unless we stop and reverse course.

Last year I visited Tacloban. I went to the Philippines to visit the site, the wake of the Typhoon Haiyan and I will tell you it is incomprehensible that that kind of storm – or worse – becomes the norm. Yet just this past weekend, that same region of the Philippines got slammed by yet another typhoon, with winds over 100 miles per hour and torrential downpours.

And what is particularly frustrating about the real-life damage that’s being done – and the threat of more to come – is that it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Nothing suggested this is inevitable. Human cost. There’s nothing preordained about the course that we’re on, except habits – bad habits. The challenge that we face may be immense, but I can’t underscore enough: This is not insurmountable.

Mankind is creating the problem, and mankind can solve the problem. And unlike some problems that we face, this one already has a ready-made solution provided by mankind that is staring us in the face: The solution to climate change is energy policy.

And there is still time for us to come together as a global community and make the right energy choices. We can significantly cut emissions and prevent the worst consequences of climate change from happening. And anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong, period. The science shows that at this moment there still is a window. It’s shutting. It’s smaller. It’s not as big an opening. And indeed, mitigation is here with us as a result, but there is time for us to change course and avoid the worst consequences – but the window is closing quickly.

So we have to approach this global threat with the urgency that it warrants. Leaders need to lead. Countries need to step up. And that means we have to come together around an ambitious climate agreement between now and the end of next year. Let me be clear: We’re not going to solve everything at this meeting or even in Paris – I understand that. But we must take giant, measurable, clear steps forward that will set us on a new path. And that means concrete actions and ambitious commitments.

Now, as I mentioned – as Todd mentioned, too – I have been coming to these conferences for a long time. And I know the discussions can be tense and the decisions are difficult. And I know how angry some people are about the predicament they’ve been put in by big nations that have benefitted from industrialization for a long period of time. I know the debates over who should do what and how hard fought and how complex. And if it weren’t hard, this would have been solved a while ago.

But the fact is we simply don’t have time to sit around going back and forth about whose responsibility it is to act. Pretty simple, folks: It’s everyone’s responsibility, because it’s the net amount of carbon that matters, not each country’s share.

Now certainly, the biggest emitters, including the United States – and I’m proud that President Obama has accepted that responsibility – have to contribute more to the solution. But ultimately, every nation on Earth has to apply current science and make state-of-the-art energy choices if we’re going to have any hope of leaving our future to the next generation to the safe and healthy planet that they deserve.

Now I want to be very clear: President Obama and I understand the way countries feel, particularly about the major emitters. We get it. The United States and other industrial nations have contributed significantly to this problem – before, I might add, we fully understood the consequences. And we recognize the responsibility we have now to lead the global response.

But that is exactly what the United States is doing. It’s a challenge that President Obama has taken on. And today, thanks to the President’s Climate Action Plan, the United States is well on its way to meeting our international commitments to seriously cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. And that’s because we’re going straight to the largest source of pollution. We’re targeting emissions from transportation and power sources, which account for roughly 60 percent of the dangerous greenhouse gases that we release. And we’re also taking – tackling smaller opportunities in every sector of the economy in order to address every greenhouse gas.

The President has put in place standards to double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks in the American roads. We’ve also proposed regulations that will curb carbon pollution coming from new power plants, and similar regulations to limit the carbon pollution coming from power plants that are already up and running, and we’re going to take a bunch of them out of commission.

At the same time, since President Obama took office, the United States has upped our wind energy production more than threefold, and we’ve upped our solar energy production more than tenfold. We’ve also become smarter about the way we use energy in our homes and businesses. And as a result, we’re emitting less overall than we have at any time in the last 20 years.

This is by far the most ambitious set of climate change actions that the United States has ever undertaken. And it’s the reason we were able to recently announce our post-2020 goal of reducing emissions from 26 to 28 percent, from 2005 levels, by 2025. That will put us squarely on the road to a more sustainable and prosperous economy. And the upper end of this target would also enable us to cut our emissions by 83 percent by 2050 – which is what science says we need to do to meet the goal of preventing over 2 degrees of Celsius warming.

Now, we’re proud of this target, and we’re grateful that with the targets that China and the EU have also announced, we now have strong commitments from the three largest emitters in the world. Is it enough? No. But it’s the beginning, which begins to move the economy and begins to move businesses and move decisions in the direction we need to go. And we’re seeing encouraging signs already that others are prepared to follow. For example, last month Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam all announced at the ASEAN Summit that they would come forward with their post-2020 emission reduction contributions well in advance of Paris, the end, perhaps – possibly by the end of March next year.

Now, I emphasize again: No single country, not even the United States, can solve this problem or foot this bill alone. That’s not rhetoric. It is literally impossible.

Just think of it this way: If every single American biked to work or carpooled to school, and used only solar panels to power their homes – if we each in America planted a dozen trees – if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions – guess what? That still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world and providing the same level of damage at a different point in time than we face today. The same would be true if China or India came down to zero emissions, if either was the only country to act. It’s just not enough for one country or even a few countries to reduce emissions when other countries continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon pollution as they see fit. If even one or two major economies fail to respond to this threat, it will counteract much of the good work that the rest of the world does. And when I say we need a global solution, I mean it. And there’s simply no excuse for anything else.

Now, of course industrialized countries have to play a major role in reducing emissions, but that doesn’t mean that other nations are just free to go off and repeat the mistakes of the past and that they somehow have a free pass to go to the levels that we’ve been at where we understand the danger.

Now, I know this is difficult for developing nations. We understand that. But we have to remember that today more than half of global emissions – more than half – are coming from developing nations. So it is imperative that they act, too.

And at the end of the day, if nations do choose the energy sources of the past over the energy sources of the future, they’ll actually be missing out on the opportunity to build the kind of economy that will be the economy of the future and that will thrive and be sustainable.

Coal and oil may be cheap ways to power an economy today in the near term, but I urge nations around the world – the vast majority of whom are represented here, at this conference – look further down the road. I urge you to consider the real, actual, far-reaching costs that come along with what some think is the cheaper alternative. It’s not cheaper.

I urge you to think about the economic impacts related to agriculture and food security – and how scientists estimate that the changing climate is going to yield – is going to reduce the capacity of crops to produce the yields they do today in rice or maize or wheat, and they could fall by 2 percent every single decade. Think about what that means for millions of farmers around the world and the impact it will have on food prices on almost every corner of the world, and particularly as each decade we see the world’s population rise towards that 9 billion mark. Then factor in how that would also exacerbate the human challenges like hunger and malnutrition.

Add to that the other long-term-related problems that come from relying on 20th century energy sources and the fact that air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuel contributes to the deaths of at least 4.5 million people every year and all the attendant healthcare costs that go with it.

And for everyone thinking that you can’t afford this transition or invest in alternative or renewable energy, do the real math on the costs. Consider the sizable costs associated with rebuilding in the wake of every devastating weather event. In 2012 alone, extreme weather events cost the United States $110 billion. When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last year, the cost of responding to the damage exceeded $10 billion. Even smaller-scale disasters bear a hefty price tag, and the overall cost to businesses from the severe floods that hit parts of the United Kingdom earlier this year was an estimated 1.3 billion. You start adding up these 100 billions and 10 billions here in country after country, and think if that money had been put to helping to subsidize the transition to a better fuel, to an alternative or renewable, to cleaner, to emissions-free, to clean emissions capacity. Those are just the costs of damages. Think of the costs for healthcare due to pollution. Largest single cause of young children in America being hospitalized during our summers is environmentally air-induced asthma that those kids suffer. The agricultural and environmental degradation is palpable. So my friends, it’s time for countries to do some real cost accounting.

The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the cost of immediate energy need or energy transition. We have to factor in the long-term cost of carbon pollution. And we have to factor in the cost of survival itself. And if we do, we will find that the cost of pursuing clean energy now is far cheaper than paying for the consequences of climate change later. Nicolas Stern showed us that in a study any number of years ago. And we still need to get all of our countries more serious about doing that accounting.

In economic terms – bottom line, in economic terms, this is not a choice between bad and worse, not at all. This is a choice between growing or shrinking your economy. And what we don’t hear enough of is the most important news of all, that climate change presents one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time on earth.

I said earlier that the solution to climate change is as clear as the problem. It’s here. The solution is energy policy. Well, let’s take a look at that.

The global energy market of the future is poised to be the largest market the world has ever known. The market which grew the United States of America during the 1990s, when we had unprecedented wealth creation – more wealth creation in America in the 1990s than in the 1920s, when we had no income tax and you’ve heard of the names of Rockefeller and Carnegie and Mellon and so forth – more was created in the 1990s. Every quintile of our income earners went up in their income. Guess what? It was a $1 trillion market with one billion users. It was the computer, high-tech mobile device.

The energy market today is a $6 trillion dollar market with 4 to 5 billion users today, and it’s going to go up to that 9 billion users. By comparison, if you looked at the differential, this is an opportunity to put millions of people to work building the infrastructure, doing the transition, and pulling us back from this brink.

Between now and 2035, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion. And that’s without us giving some of the price signals that we ought to be giving to the marketplace to make this transition. That’s more than the entire GDP of China and India combined. Imagine the opportunities for clean energy innovation. Imagine the businesses that could be launched, the jobs that’d be created, in every corner of the globe.

The only question is are we going to do it fast enough to make the difference. The technology is out there. Make no mistake, it’s out there now. None of this is beyond our capacity. And the question – and it really is still open to question; it’s why we’re here and it’s why we’re going to Paris – is whether or not it’s beyond our collective resolve.

Ask yourself, if Al Gore and Dr. Pachauri and Jim Hansen and the people who’ve been putting the science out there for years are wrong about this and we make these choices to do the things I’m talking about, what’s the worst thing that can happen to us for making these choices? Create a whole lot of new jobs. Kick our economies into gear. Have healthier people, reduce the cost of healthcare. Live up to our environmental responsibilities. Have a world that’s more secure because we have energy that isn’t dependent on one part of the world or another. That’s the worst that can happen to us.

But what happens if the climate skeptics are wrong? Catastrophe. And we have a responsibility to put in place the precautionary principle when you’re given certain evidence and you’re a public official.

So today I call on all of you here in Lima – negotiators, diplomats, scientists, economists, and concerned citizens in Peru and around the world – to demand resolve from your leaders. Speak out. Make climate change an issue that no public official can ignore for even one more day, let alone for one more election. Make a transition towards clean energy the only policy that you’ll accept. And make it clear that an ambitious agreement in Paris is not an option, it’s an urgent necessity.

We can get there. How do I know that? And I do; I believe we can get there. Because, at the end of the day, we have no choice. And because we’re starting to see signs that, thankfully, more and more of the world is coming to the same conclusion.

You only have to look at the United States and China to understand what I’m talking about. Our two nations are the world’s largest consumers of energy, and we are the world’s largest emitters of global greenhouse gases. Together, we account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s emissions. And it’s no secret that we’ve had very different views when it comes to climate change.

I can remember discussions with Chinese 15, 10 years ago that went nowhere. But in Beijing last month I had the privilege of joining President Obama as he stood next to President Xi to jointly, side by side, announce our respective ambitious post-2020 mitigation commitments and to call on other countries to come forward with their own ambitious targets as quickly as possible, so we can conclude a strong agreement next year. The United States and China – two countries long regarded as the leaders of opposing camps in these negotiations – have now found common ground on this issue. That is a historic milestone, and it should send a clear message to all of us that the roadblocks we’ve hit for decades can be removed from our path.

I’m not suggesting it’s going to happen in one fell swoop or that it’s easy – there isn’t a person in this room who probably isn’t pretty tuned in to how hard it is – but I am confident we can rise above the debates that have dragged us down. We can find a way to summon the shared resolve that we need to tackle this shared threat. And if we do that, then we will reach an agreement and we will meet this challenge. That is our charge, and for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and our responsibility as human beings on this earth, this is a charge we must keep. Thank you very much.

Helen Clark: Speech at the Global Landscapes Forum UN Climate Change Conference – COP20, Lima, Peru

07 Dec 2014

I thank the organizers of the Global Landscapes Forum – the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), UNEP, FAO, and Peru’s Ministries of the Environment and Agriculture – for inviting me to speak this morning.

The focus of this Forum is of high relevance to the global effort to tackle climate change, and to achieve sustainable development overall.

The world has witnessed significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were launched at the beginning of this century, including on some of the environmental targets set in the MDGs.

The goal of halving poverty has been met five years ahead of schedule; on average around the world, gender parity in primary education has been achieved and most children now enroll in a primary school; and levels of infant and child mortality have decreased significantly. Advances have been made in the fight against HIV, malaria, and TB.

On MDG7 on ensuring environmental sustainability, the target of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water was met five years ahead of schedule. The coverage of protected areas is growing – it now stands at 14.6 per cent of terrestrial areas and 9.7 per cent of coastal marine areas worldwide. This helps safeguard biodiversity and the essential services our planet’s natural ecosystems provide. As well, since the adoption of the Montreal Protocol, there has been a reduction of over 98 per cent in the consumption of ozone-depleting substances.

Yet, climate change is undermining the gains made, with the poorest and most vulnerable people most exposed to the more frequent and severe droughts and major storms which our world is experiencing.

With nearly one third of global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions coming from farming, forestry, and livestock production, achieving sustainable landscapes is critical to climate change mitigation.

Sustainable landscapes are also essential for climate change adaptation and for sustainable development in general, as they safeguard and deliver a wide range of social, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits – including water and energy which underpin food security.

It is therefore encouraging to see that key elements of sustainable landscapes feature among the seventeen goals and 169 targets proposed by the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. These include the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems; sustainable management of forests; reversing land degradation; and halting biodiversity loss.

At the Climate Summit in New York hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September, sustainable agriculture and forest protection were recognized as critical components of the fight against climate change. The clear message was that without decisive action on land-use, through sustainable agriculture and efforts to curb deforestation and restore forests, global warming will not be limited to two degrees Celsius.

The good news is that a wide range of stakeholders came together at the September Climate Summit to back the New York Declaration on Forests, and to make specific and ambitious commitments to action on forest protection.

I wish to acknowledge Paul Polman, Unilever’s CEO, and other CEOs in the private sector, whose remarkable leadership on land-use and forests has been a ‘game changer’ in this area.

The New York Declaration on Forests has been cited as “the key outcome of the Climate Summit”. 175 entities, including developing and developed countries, states and provinces; major companies; indigenous leaders; and civil society organizations committed to halving deforestation by 2020, and to ending it by 2030. They also committed to restoring 350 million hectares of forests – an area roughly equivalent to the size of India. Governments who endorsed the Declaration committed to “Support and help meet the private sector goal of eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef products by no later than 2020, recognizing that many companies have even more ambitious targets.”

If the commitments made in the Declaration are met, they would produce emission reductions equivalent to removing all the cars currently on the world’s roads.

In the past year, a number of forest countries have made substantial progress on developing and implementing their forest strategies, and their actions are increasingly supported by international finance. As well, parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded the Warsaw Framework on REDD+; and more than fifty major companies have made substantial commitments to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains.

At the Climate Summit, leaders from various sectors built upon that progress by coming forward with individual and collective commitments to bring about change.

• Private sector leaders set out what their sectors can contribute to stopping deforestation, and what would help them to do that. Companies made new and expanded commitments on achieving deforestation-free supply chains.

• Forest countries committed to reduce deforestation and/or restore degraded lands.

• A number of donor countries voiced their support for the inclusion of REDD+ in the new global climate change agreement which is to enter into force by 2020. Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom jointly committed to scaling up results-based finance for REDD+, beginning with funding for twenty major new programmes by 2016.

• Several of the largest forest commodity importing countries committed to new procurement policies which encourage deforestation-free supply chains.

• The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, a grouping of 26 states and provinces covering a quarter of all tropical forests, committed to reducing deforestation in their jurisdictions by eighty per cent by 2020 if supported by large-scale results-based payments.

At the Summit, the critical role of indigenous peoples in forest protection was fully recognized. A global coalition of indigenous peoples pledged to put their weight behind the protection of hundreds of millions of hectares of tropical forests across the Amazon and Congo Basins, Indonesia, and Mesoamerica in the service of climate mitigation and adaptation.

While much work remains to be done, the strong expressions of action and co-operation on forests at the Climate Summit was inspirational. The spirit of partnership shown in reaching the New York Declaration on Forests bodes well for continued progress, and it must be nurtured if our forests are to survive.

The progress made over the past year gives a clear sense of the steps which need to be taken on forest issues between now and next year’s Paris UNFCCC Conference of Parties:

1. Developing forest countries can put forward nationally-determined mitigation contributions which include ambitious goals and policies to reduce forest loss and increase reforestation. They could identify how much they can achieve unilaterally, and how much more they could achieve with international support. They should continue to implement and enforce land use reforms which will enable them to develop without destroying forests. This will take strong political will and leadership, and the broader international community needs to support these efforts.

2. Advanced economies must deliver large scale economic incentives for forest protection, particularly through REDD+, in the context of the new climate agreement. 2014 was the year in which many in the private sector stepped up to tackle deforestation. 2015 needs to be the year when governments step up to deliver on the promise of REDD+, on the design of which they have worked so hard over the last seven years.

3. The private sector must eliminate deforestation from its supply chains without delay. This means expanding existing sustainability commitments to cover a wider range of commodities, and bringing more companies in both developed and developing countries on board.

4. Indigenous peoples must be empowered to continue to play their vital role in protecting forests. Governments must formalize and protect their rights, and the private sector must respect their right to give or withhold free, prior, and informed consent. We must see conflicts resolved in a manner consistent with good governance, equity, and respect for human rights.

The UN system is deeply committed to building on the progress of the past year, and to advancing the forests and landscape agendas – in particular through its mandate to support developing countries.

At UNDP, we will work closely with our UN partners in the UN-REDD Program – FAO and UNEP, as well as with the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. We will continue working with Paul Polman and others in the powerful multi-sectoral coalition which came together for the Climate Summit. We want to help build on the momentum of the New York Declaration on Forests, and to carry the strong partnerships formed around it through to the Paris COP and beyond.

Let me conclude by emphasizing what we all know: that a two degree climate change scenario is not possible without making real progress on sustainable landscapes, including forests.

The co-operation and commitment of leading actors represented here at this Forum is so critical for success. At UNDP we are pleased to be a partner with you on this journey.

Q&A: How FAO and partners are working to help countries explore sustainable bioenergy development

Photo: ©FAO/Dhani S. Wibawa

Oil palm seedling in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Through the Global Bioenergy Partnership, FAO is helping countries to better assess the possible risks and benefits of bioenergy. In this interview, Michela Morese of FAO’s energy team talks about recent FAO work in Colombia and Indonesia to test bioenergy sustainability indicators.

Why are developing countries interested in producing biofuels? Shouldn’t they focus on growing food?

The production and use of bioenergy is on the rise in many parts of the world as countries seek to diversify their energy sources while promoting sustainable development.  

Certainly crop production for use in biofuels should not compete with food production or negatively impact food security. But the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive – if developed in the right way, a healthy biofuels sector can make important contributions to a country by improving energy access and food security.

Switching from traditional to modern bioenergy systems can reduce deforestation and free women and children from collecting fuelwood and help reduce illnesses air pollution. It can also cut dependence on imported fossil fuels, improving countries’ energy security as well as their foreign exchange balances. In addition, the production and use of bioenergy can expand access to modern energy services and bring infrastructure such as roads, telecommunications, schools and health centres to poor rural areas. In such areas, bioenergy offers a chance to increase the income of small-scale farmers, alleviating poverty and decreasing the gap between rich and poor. In urban centres, using biofuels in transport can improve air quality.

Are there also risks involved? 

If not sustainably managed, bioenergy development can place extra pressure on biodiversity, scarce water resources and food security. If land use is not well planned and oversight is inadequate, increased deforestation, loss of peatlands and land degradation can occur and lead to an overall negative impact on climate change. Where land tenure is insecure, communities can be displaced and lose access to land and other natural resources.

What are the sustainability indicators that FAO and GBEP have developed and how can they be used?

The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) has produced a set of twenty-four indicators for the assessment and monitoring of bioenergy sustainability at the national level. These indicators address all types of biofuels (e.g. ethanol, biodiesel, biogas) for electricity, heat and transport. FAO has provided substantial technical inputs to this work, and is also among the founding members of the Partnership and hosts the Secretariat in Rome. The indicators are intended to inform policy-makers about the environmental, social and economic aspects of the bioenergy sector in their country and guide them towards policies that foster sustainable development. Measured over time, the indicators will show progress towards or away from a nationally defined sustainable development path.

The GBEP indicators are unique in that they are a product of the only multilateral initiative that has built consensus on the sustainable production and use of bioenergy among a wide range of national governments (fifty) and international organizations (twenty-six). 

GBEP recently wrapped up a project applying the indicators in Colombia and Indonesia. What were the lessons learned?

FAO tested the GBEP indicators in Colombia and Indonesia, with support from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resource, and Nuclear Safety of Germany. 

The testing confirmed the high relevance of the environmental, social and economic issues addressed by the GBEP sustainability indicators for bioenergy. It also showed the importance of strengthening the capacity of developing countries to monitor the sustainability of bioenergy, especially with regard to complex issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and food security, as was done in the context of this project through a series of trainings and workshops.

Can you give us an example of activities carried out during this project? 

In order to support the future monitoring of the effects of bioenergy production and use on food supply and prices, two trainings were carried out in Indonesia using the Aglink-Cosimo model, which offers a way to assess the impacts of biofuel production on agricultural and food markets, as well as a way to evaluate future biofuel scenarios linked to different policies and targets.

The monitoring and evaluation of the sustainability of this sector should be done in a context of multi-stakeholder dialogue. Both in Colombia and Indonesia the project stimulated and facilitated dialogue across all relevant ministries and other key stakeholders,  like producers’ organizations. Regional workshops were organized in both countries in order to foster the exchange of information and experiences among countries in the respective regions.

Has sustainability been an issue there? 

Yes, the testing in Colombia and Indonesia provided interesting preliminary insights into the sustainability of the bioenergy sector in these two countries. So far bioenergy production and use has not triggered significant impacts on the domestic supply and price of the main food basket items in either country. This might change if more ambitious biofuel targets are put in place, such as those currently under consideration in Indonesia. At the same time, it is recommended to pay more attention in both countries to the land-use changes associated with the expansion of key bioenergy feedstocks (e.g. oil palm), which may have negative repercussions on environmental and social sustainability. If conversion of land with high carbon stocks is avoided, the displacement of fossil fuels with bioenergy can lead to important GHG emission reductions.

How can this experience be replicated elsewhere, and what is next for the GBEP?

Following the positive outcomes of the project in Colombia and Indonesia, FAO is exploring with the donor the opportunity to support the implementation of the GBEP indicators in four additional countries: Ethiopia and Kenya, under UNEP’s coordination; and Paraguay and Vietnam, under FAO’s coordination. The lessons learnt from the implementation of the indicators in these and other countries will then be shared with the GBEP community and used to improve the practicality of the indicators, so as to facilitate their widespread use.

GBEP is also promoting capacity building for sustainable bioenergy development, by fostering exchange of information, skills and technologies through bilateral and multilateral collaboration. In the context of this work, a Bioenergy Week is organized every year in a different continent. The goal of this initiative is to bring together relevant stakeholders in order to discuss specific bioenergy-related priorities and challenges faced by the countries in the region. In 2014, the Bioenergy week took place in Mozambique, with the links between bioenergy and food security as one of the main topics being discussed.

8 December 2014

2014 Leaders’ Declaration

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

November 11, 2014

The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration – Beijing Agenda for an Integrated, Innovative and Interconnected Asia-Pacific

1. We, the APEC Leaders, gathered by Yanqi Lake in Beijing for the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Under the theme of “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership”, we held substantial discussions on the priorities of advancing regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth, and strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development with a view to expanding and deepening Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation, and attaining peace, stability, development and common prosperity of the Asia-Pacific.

2.The Asia-Pacific region has experienced a quarter of a century’s growth and development. APEC has not only made significant contributions to the region’s economic development, social progress and improvement of people’s livelihoods, but has also epitomized the great changes and rising strategic position of the Asia-Pacific. Through its unique approach featuring voluntary action, consensus, flexibility and pragmatism, APEC has successfully established a sound regional economic cooperation framework among member economies with remarkable diversity and at different stages of development. Adhering to the spirit of unity, mutual respect and trust, mutual assistance and win-win cooperation, we have been working to narrow the development gap among ourselves and have consistently promoted the robust, sustainable, balanced, inclusive and secure growth in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

3.After years of rapid development, the Asia-Pacific has become the most dynamic region of the world, and has never been as important as it is today in the global landscape. At present, the Asia-Pacific maintains a strong momentum of growth; it possesses an enormous potential and has a bright future. Yet it is also faced with risks and challenges.

4.We are at an important historical moment of building on past achievements and striving for new progress. We are committed to working together to shape the future through Asia-Pacific partnership, building an open economy in the Asia-Pacific featuring innovative development, interconnected growth, and shared interests, and consolidating the leading role of the Asia-Pacific in the world economy, with a goal of opening up new prospects for future cooperation and achieving common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

5.To achieve the above-mentioned goals, we pledge to take the following actions:

I.  Advancing Regional Economic Integration

Pursuing Free and Open Trade and Investment

6.We reiterate the value, centrality and primacy of the multilateral trading system in promoting trade expansion, economic growth, job creation and sustainable development. We stand firmly together to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO.

7.We express our grave concern regarding the impasse in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which has resulted in stalemate and uncertainties over other Bali decisions. These developments have affected the credibility of the WTO negotiating function. In finding solutions to the implementation of the Bali decisions, APEC will exert creative leadership and energy together with all WTO members in unlocking this impasse, putting all Bali decisions back on track, and proceeding with the formulation of Post-Bali Work Program, as a key stepping stone to concluding the Doha Round.

8.We reaffirm our pledges against all forms of protectionism. We extend our standstill commitment through the end of 2018 and reaffirm our commitment to roll back protectionist and trade-distorting measures. We remain committed to exercise maximum restraint in implementing measures that may be consistent with WTO provisions but have a significant protectionist effect, and to promptly rectifying such measures, where implemented.

9.We acknowledge that bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade agreements can play an important role in complementing global trade liberalization initiatives. We will continue to work together to ensure that they contribute to strengthening the multilateral trading system. We underscore the importance of the negotiations to expand the product coverage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). A final ITA expansion outcome should be commercially significant, credible, pragmatic, balanced, and reflective of the dynamic technological developments in the information technology sector over the last 17 years, and contribute to the multilateral trading system. We welcome APEC’s leadership in advancing the negotiations and call for swift resumption and conclusion of plurilateral negotiations in Geneva. We welcome the launch of negotiations on Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) in July 2014 in Geneva. We encourage participants of the above initiatives to seek expanded memberships.

10.We welcome the significant progress made toward achieving the Bogor Goals. We will make every effort to achieve the Bogor Goals by 2020. We also welcome the biennial Bogor Goals review this year. We urge all economies, particularly developed ones to deeply consider the conclusions of the Report on APEC’s 2010 Economies’ Progress towards the Bogor Goals and the 2012 and 2014 Bogor Goals Progress Report, and to take more concrete actions towards attaining the Bogor Goals.

11.Recognizing APEC has a critical role to play in shaping and nurturing regional economic integration, we agree that APEC should make more important and meaningful contributions as an incubator to translate the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) from a vision to reality. We reaffirm our commitment to the eventual FTAAP as a major instrument to further APEC’s regional economic integration agenda.

12.In this regard, we decide to kick off and advance the process in a comprehensive and systematic manner towards the eventual realization of the FTAAP, and endorse the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP (Annex A). Through the implementation of this Roadmap, we decide to accelerate our efforts on realizing the FTAAP on the basis of the conclusion of the ongoing pathways, and affirm our commitment to the eventual realization of the FTAAP as early as possible by building on ongoing regional undertakings, which will contribute significantly to regional economic integration, sustained growth and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. We instruct Ministers and officials to undertake the specific actions and report the outcomes to track the achievements.

13.We welcome the establishment of a Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) Friends of the Chair Group on Strengthening Regional Economic Integration (REI) and Advancing FTAAP, and urge the Friends of the Chair Group to continue its work. We agree to launch a collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of the FTAAP, and instruct officials to undertake the study, consult stakeholders and report the result by the end of 2016.

14.We endorse the establishment of an APEC Information Sharing Mechanism on RTAs/FTAs. We highly commend the work on the implementation of the Action Plan Framework on Capacity Building Needs Initiatives (CBNI), and endorse the Action Plan Framework of the 2nd CBNI. We instruct officials to design targeted and tailor-made capacity building activities to narrow the gap of the capacities of APEC economies to facilitate the eventual realization of the FTAAP.

15.In addition to the above, we reaffirm the role of APEC in addressing next generation trade and investment issues and sectoral initiatives, and agree to accelerate “at the border” trade liberalization and facilitation efforts, improve the business environment “behind the border”, and enhance regional connectivity “across the border” to accumulate more building blocks for the realization of the FTAAP. Therefore, we:

— reaffirm our commitment to reduce applied tariffs to five percent or less by the end of 2015 on the list of environmental goods that we endorsed in 2012 in Vladivostok. We call upon all economies to redouble their efforts in order to realize the economic and environmental benefits. We will instruct officials to report progress in achieving this ground-breaking commitment at our meeting next year in the Philippines. We welcome the work on capacity building on Environmental Goods (EGs) commitment implementation;

— welcome the inaugural meeting of the APEC Public Private Partnership on Environmental Goods and Services (PPEGS) on renewable and clean energy trade and investment, and endorse the APEC Statement on Promoting Renewable and Clean Energy (RCE) Trade and Investment;

— welcome the progress onexploring products which could contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth as part of our concrete commitment to rural development and poverty alleviation;

— endorse the Action Agenda on Promoting Infrastructure Investment through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and instruct officials to take concrete actions to strengthen cooperation on PPP to promote more robust and sustainable infrastructure investment and development in the APEC region;

— welcome the Case Studies on Sustainable Investment in the APEC Region and encourage officials to consider and draw experience and good practices from the nominated cases to promote sustainable cross-border investment;

— endorse the APEC Cross Border E-Commerce Innovation and Development Initiative and encourage economies to designate or establish Research Centers of Cross-border E-commerce Innovation and Development on a voluntary basis;

— recognize that the effective protection and enforcement of IPR including trade secrets incentivizes and facilitates innovation and foreign direct investment and the dissemination of technology through licensing and partnerships;

— endorse the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development to promote alignment of advertising standards and reduce the cost of doing business across the region;

— endorse the Asia-Pacific Region Automotive Industry Sustainable Development Declaration and welcome the outcomes of the 2014 APEC Regulatory Cooperation Advancement Mechanism (ARCAM) Dialogue on Electric Vehicle Standards. We welcome the APEC Actions to Promote the Widespread Usage of Electric Vehicles.

Advancing Global Value Chain Development and Supply Chain Connectivity

16.Recognizing that Global Value Chains (GVCs) have become a dominant feature of the global economy and offer new prospects for growth, competitiveness and job creation for APEC economies at all levels of development, we endorse the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation (Annex B). We welcome the progress made in the measurement of Trade in Value Added (TiVA), services, SMEs and GVCs resilience, etc., and instruct officials to advance the work through the CTI Friends of the Chair Group on GVC to put forward new initiatives under the Strategic Blueprint in 2015 and beyond.

17.We endorse the Strategic Framework on Measurement of APEC TiVA under GVCs and the Action Plan on this Strategic Framework. We instruct the newly-formed technical group to work closely with the WTO, OECD, the World Bank, UNCTAD and other related international organizations, with an aim to complete the construction of the APEC TiVA Database by 2018.

18.We endorse the Terms of Reference of Promoting SME’s Integration into GVCs, and welcome the launch of the related activities. We instruct officials to make efforts in advancing this work.

19.We welcome the commitment of APEC economies to move forward with the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, including the notification by many APEC developing economies of their category A TFA obligations. We welcome, as well, the progress this year in improving the performance of APEC supply chains through targeted, focused capacity building and technical assistance. In this regard, we applaud the establishment of the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity, which will contribute to our goal in achieving a ten percent improvement of supply chain performance by the end of 2015 and our broader supply chain connectivity objectives. We encourage economies to increase the resources of the APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Sub-Fund to ensure that our capacity building and technical assistance projects succeed to meet our ten percent performance improvement goal and to further our trade facilitation objectives. 

20.We agree to establish the Asia-Pacific Model E-port Network (APMEN) and welcome the first batch of APEC Model E-ports nominated by the APEC economies. We endorse the Terms of Reference of the APMEN and agree to set up the APMEN operational center in the Shanghai Model E-port, and instruct officials to make further efforts to contribute to regional trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity.

21.We positively value the APEC High-level Roundtable on Green Development and its declaration, and agree to establish the APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain. We endorse the establishment of the first pilot center of APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain in Tianjin, China, and encourage other economics to establish the pilot centers and advance related work actively.

22.We endorse the APEC Customs 3M (Mutual Recognition of Control, Mutual Assistance of Enforcement and Mutual Sharing of Information) Strategic Framework. We instruct officials to further simplify and coordinate APEC customs procedures based on the 3M Framework to facilitate the development of regional trade. We encourage APEC members’ customs authorities to continue strengthening cooperation and coordination in pursuit of the 3M vision, to push forward comprehensive connectivity and make greater contributions to the sustainable development of trade and regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

23.We recognize that the use of standardized codes will enable information about traded goods to be easily understood and shared by all parties. We therefore encourage APEC economies to work with the private sector to promote further cooperation on global data standards and their wider use by developing pilot projects. 

24.We welcome the initiative on manufacturing related services in supply chains/value chains as a next generation trade and investment issue, and instruct officials to develop a plan of action in 2015.

Strengthening Economic and Technical Cooperation

25.We endorse the APEC Strategic Plan on Capacity Building to Promote Trade and Investment Agenda which adopts a strategic, goal-oriented and multi-year approach. We instruct officials to take the Strategic Plan as a guide to develop and implement more tailor-made capacity building programs that contribute to the core trade and investment liberalization and facilitation agenda of APEC.

26.We encourage economies, particularly developed economies, to provide more contributions to ECOTECH and capacity building, to achieve our goal of bridging development gaps, and help member economies to meet their APEC commitments and their economic growth objectives.

27.We welcome the initiative to upgrade the Asia Pacific Finance and Development Center (AFDC) to the Asia Pacific Finance and Development Institute (AFDI).

II. Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth

28.We realize that the prospects for the shared prosperity of APEC will depend on innovative development, economic reform and growth in the region, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing. We recognize that the Asia-Pacific region is at a crucial stage of economic transformation. We are committed to accelerating the pace of reform and innovation, and exploring new growth areas with the goal of bolstering the position of the Asia-Pacific as an engine for world economic growth. We agree to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination with a view to forging policy synergy, and creating a sound policy environment for the robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth in the region.

29.We endorse the APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth (Annex C) which identifies Economic Reform, New Economy, Innovative Growth, Inclusive Support and Urbanization as the five pillars for promoting experience sharing, policy dialogue, capacity building and practical cooperation.

Economic Reform

30.To advance APEC’s economic reform agenda, we agree to hold the 2nd Ministerial Meeting on Structural Reform in 2015. Recognizing that many APEC developing economies are facing the challenge of the Middle-Income Trap (MIT), we agree to incorporate the issue of overcoming the MIT into the work program of the APEC Economic Committee.

31.To meet our objective of strengthening the implementation of good regulatory practices, we will further enhance communication, exchanges, and sharing of experiences, and foster anopen and transparentregulatory environment in our economies, according to individual economies’ needs and circumstances. We will endeavor to take new actions through the use of information technology and the Internet to improve our conduct of public consultations on proposed regulations.

32.We recognize the role of internationally recognized private international law instruments such as the Hague Conventions in facilitating cross-border trade and investment, enhancing ease of doing business, and fostering effective enforcement of contracts and efficient settlement of business disputes. We encourage wider use of these instruments which would contribute to APEC’s regional integration, connectivity and structural reform agenda.

New Economy

33.We recognize that New Economy represents the trend of economic growth and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. We support the efforts to promote economic restructuring and upgrading in traditional industries, explore new and promising economic growth areas such as the Green Economy, the Blue Economy, and the Internet Economy, and promote green, circular, low-carbon and energy-efficient development.

34.We are encouraged by the progress of APEC’s ocean-related cooperation and welcome the Xiamen Declaration issued at the 4th APEC Oceans Ministerial Meeting this year, and instruct our Ministers and officials to fully implement the Declaration. We acknowledge the Xiamen Declaration’s statement on the Blue Economy. We welcome the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Report.  We encourage the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group to work with APEC fora to advance Blue Economy cooperation.

35.We recognize the role of the Internet Economy in promoting innovative development and empowering economic participation. We endorse the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote the Internet Economy and instruct Ministers and officials to discuss the Internet Economy further, put forward proposals for actions, promote member economies’ cooperation on developing the Internet Economy and facilitate technological and policy exchanges among member economies, taking into account the need to bridge the digital divide.

36.We welcome the Beijing Declaration of the 2014 APEC Energy Ministerial Meeting. We welcome the establishment of the APEC Sustainable Energy Center in China. We recognize the importance of promoting diversified energy supplies, and market-based competition and pricing mechanisms that reflect demand and supply fundamentals as appropriate to each economy. We encourage member economies to take actions to eliminate trade protection and restrictive measures that may impede progress in renewable energy technologies and development of this sector, and we endorse the Energy Ministers’ aspirational goal to double the share of renewables including in power generation by 2030 in APEC’s energy mix. We affirm our commitment to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while still providing essential energy services. We acknowledge Peru and New Zealand for initiating voluntary peer reviews in 2014 of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that cause wasteful consumption and sharing their best practices, and welcome the commitment from the Philippines to undergo a peer review in 2015. We encourage innovation, competition and cooperation to promote a sound and sustainable energy sector in the Asia-Pacific and to ensure its energy security, economic growth, poverty eradication and an appropriate response to climate change.

37.We emphasize the importance of efforts to ensure sustainable development in mining, including the development, processing, utilization, investment and trade in minerals, metals and related products and welcome Ministers’ views recognizing the important role of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

38.We will continue our efforts to protect forest resources, combat illegal logging and associated trade, promote sustainable forest management, and work with relevant organizations, including the Asia-Pacific Network on Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet), to ensure the achievement of the aspirational goal on forests in the Sydney Declaration.

39.We commit to continue our efforts in combating wildlife trafficking. We will take steps to combat wildlife trafficking by enhancing international cooperation through Wildlife Enforcement Networks (WENs) and other existing mechanisms, reducing the supply of and demand for illegally traded wildlife, increasing public awareness and education related to wildlife trafficking and its impacts, and treating wildlife trafficking crimes seriously.

Innovative Growth

40.We recognize innovation as an important lever for economic growth and structural reform. We endorse the initiative on Toward Innovation-Driven Development. We commit to foster a pragmatic, efficient and vigorous partnership on science, technology and innovation. We agree to strengthen collaboration amongst government, academia, and private sector stakeholders to build science capacity, to promote an enabling environment for innovation and including by establishing training centers for the commercialization of research, and to enhance regional science and technology connectivity, with respect for intellectual property rights and trade secrets. 

41.We welcome the Nanjing Declaration on Promoting SMEs Innovative Development. We commit to strengthen our support, and provide an enabling environment for SMEs in innovation activities. We welcome efforts to strengthen SMEs’ cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, involve SMEs in APEC production and supply chains, promote ethical business practices, as well as to empower their capacity to operate in an international market. We welcome member economies’ joint efforts and contribution to promote the APEC Accelerator Network and to invest in the early stage development of innovative SMEs.

Inclusive support

42.We recognize that inclusive support is essential to maintain growth and to deal with risks and potential fallout of reform, with an aim to provide a solid foundation for economic growth and to address the needs of vulnerable groups. We welcome the outcomes of the 6th Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting and the Action Plan (2015-2018) on Promoting Quality Employment and Strengthening People-to-People Connectivity through Human Resources Development. We encourage APEC economies to give priority to stabilizing and expanding employment, implementing macroeconomic policies in favor of job creation, and strengthening capacity building for human resources development, vocational skills development and skill training for youth. We commend the 10-year achievement of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center initiative through our joint efforts and cooperation in bridging digital divides, strengthening human resource development and creating digital opportunities throughout the APEC region.

43.We recognize the pivotal role of women in the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific, and are committed to taking concrete policies and innovative measures to further enhance women’s economic empowerment and their access to markets and ICT technology, eliminate all barriers that hinder women’s economic participation, and ensure women’s equal opportunities, participation and benefit in innovative development, economic reform and growth. We welcome the recommendations from the Women and the Economy Forum, and commit to promote women entrepreneurship. We recognize the importance of data to measure progress in reducing barriers to women’s economic participation, and we welcome the establishment of the APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard as a tool to inform policy discussions. We support women’s leadership and recognize the importance of women’s entrepreneurship support services and networks. We encourage the formal development of an APEC-wide women’s entrepreneurship network to empower women entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and increase their access to domestic and international markets.

44.We welcome recommendations from the 4th High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy and endorse the “Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020” initiative, which aims to achieve sustainable and high-performing health systems that will ensure people’s health, including physical and mental well-being, through the whole life-course by means of a whole-of-government, and whole-of-society approach with the collaboration of the entire Asia-Pacific region.

45.We commit to jointly tackle pandemic diseases, terrorism, natural disasters, climate change and other global challenges. In confronting the current Ebola Virus Disease epidemic, we are determined to intensify our cooperation and work shoulder to shoulder with African nations to help them effectively end this epidemic and prevent, detect, manage and respond to future outbreaks. We will continue to assist people in affected areas to overcome this crisis and build back their economies so we can win the battle against the disease.

46.We endorse the Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security issued at the Third APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security. We welcome APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, the APEC Food Security Business Plan (2014-2020), and the APEC Food Security Roadmap toward 2020 (2014 version) and the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance.We note the G20’s work on food security in 2014. We call on APEC economies to seek common ground to build an open, inclusive, mutually-beneficial and all-win partnership for the long-term food security of the Asia-Pacific region. We will strengthen APEC agricultural science and technology innovation and cooperation to advance sustainable agricultural development and support sustainable fisheries.

47.We commend the ongoing efforts of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN), which will help ensure the safety of food produced and traded in the APEC region by improving food safety regulatory systems, encouraging harmonization with international science-based standards, building capacity in areas that will facilitate trade, and enhancing communication and collaboration between industry and regulators to address emerging food safety issues. We welcome the APEC Food Safety Beijing Statement of the 2014 APEC High-Level Regulator Industry Dialogue on Food Safety.

48.We commend the strong resolve shown in fighting corruption, including through effective anti-corruption measures. We support the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption and welcome the APEC Principles on the Prevention of Bribery and Enforcement of Anti-Bribery Laws, and APEC General Elements of Effective Voluntary Corporate Compliance Programs. We commit to work together against corruption and deny safe haven for corrupt officials and their illicitly-acquired assets. We are committed to strengthening cooperation and coordination on repatriation or extradition of corrupt officials as well as confiscation and recovery of corruption proceeds, and where appropriate, through the use of anti-corruption mechanisms and platforms such as the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET).

49.We encourage further cooperation of member economies in disaster preparedness, risk reduction, response and post-disaster recovery, and cooperation in search and rescue, including through more robust networking among disaster management departments; following the APEC Guidelines on Appropriate Donations; improving supply chain resiliency; operationalizing the Trade Recovery Programme, reducing barriers to the movement of emergency responders and humanitarian relief across borders; increased data sharing; and application of science and technologies.

50.We reiterate our resolve to create a secure and resilient environment for economic activities and connectivity in the APEC region and continue concerted efforts to implement the APEC Consolidated Counter-Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy.

Urbanization

51.We recognize that the Asia-Pacific is currently experiencing booming urbanization. We realize that sustained and healthy development of urbanization is conducive to promoting innovative growth and realizing robust, inclusive and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific.

52.We commend the constructive work undertaken by APEC this year in promoting urbanization cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and endorse the APEC Cooperation Initiative for Jointly Establishing an Asia-Pacific Urbanization Partnership.

53.Recognizing the range of urbanization challenges and opportunities across APEC economies, we commit to collectively promote cooperation projects, and to further explore pathways to a new-type of urbanization and sustainable city development, featuring green, energy efficient, low-carbon and people-orientation.

III. Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development

54.We recognize that strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development will help open up new sources of economic growth, promote cooperation and mutual assistance, and advance prosperity and the spirit of community in the Asia-Pacific region. We commend the achievements already made by APEC in connectivity and infrastructure development cooperation.

55.We endorse the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 (Annex D). We are committed to implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint and achieving the overarching goal of strengthening physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity by taking agreed actions and meeting agreed targets by 2025, with the objective of achieving a seamless and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia Pacific.

56.We commit to solve the financing bottleneck of infrastructure development. We commend the work and progress accomplished under the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP) in infrastructure investment and financing cooperation. We recognize, in particular, efforts in promoting PPP on Infrastructure, such as compiling demonstrative infrastructure PPP projects, advancing the work of the PPP Experts Advisory Panel, strengthening capacity building of Indonesia’s Pilot PPP Center, and carrying on capacity building project of PPP pilot demonstration and standard contract making. We welcome the Implementation Roadmap to Develop Successful Infrastructure PPP Projects in the APEC Region to guide APEC’s future work in this aspect. We welcome the establishment of the PPP Center in China as a center of excellence.

57. We encourage member economies to strengthen energy infrastructural development and connectivity, such as oil and natural gas pipelines and transmission networks, LNG terminals, smart grids and distributed energy systems on the basis of shared interest and mutual benefit.

58. We encourage all member economies to take effective measures to promote the mobility of business personnel, tourists, researchers, students and labor in the region.

59.We support initiatives and activities that further enhance the three dimensions of cross-border education cooperation found in the 2012 Leaders Declaration– mobility of students, researchers, and providers. We applaud the work that has been accomplished this year, including the establishment of the APEC Higher Education Research Center (AHERC); contributions to the APEC scholarships and internships initiative, which will encourage people-to-people exchange in our region; and promotion of virtual academic mobility by leveraging internet-based resources and innovative learning practices.

60. We support the target set at the 8th APEC Tourism Ministers’ Meeting of   making efforts to receive 800 million international tourist arrivals in APEC economies by 2025.

61. We appreciate the initiatives which will greatly improve connectivity and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, help resolve the bottleneck of financing in this field, and promote regional economic integration and the common development of the Asia-Pacific.

IV. Looking Forward

62.With joint efforts of member economies, the Asia-Pacific has become the most dynamic region of the world with enormous growth potential. Never before has the world been more in need of a harmonious, stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific. We commit to working together to shape the future through Asia-Pacific partnership in the spirit of mutual respect and trust, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation, and making a contribution to the long-term development and common prosperity of the region.

63.We commit to carry forward APEC reform, improve its cooperation mechanisms, and implement ambitious goals and blueprints, with the aim of enabling APEC to play a more active coordinating and leading role in the Asia-Pacific.

64.We commend the constructive role of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in strengthening public-private partnership and promoting APEC cooperation in various fields.

65.We are committed to enhancing APEC synergy with other relevant international and regional cooperation organizations and fora through coordination and cooperation, as well as enabling APEC to play an increasingly important role in the global governance system.

66.We are satisfied with the positive, meaningful and fruitful achievements of this meeting and appreciate China’s tremendous and fruitful efforts to successfully host this meeting.

67.We are committed to supporting future hosts of APEC, including Peru, Viet Nam, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand who are to host APEC in the years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively.

68.We look forward to convening again during the Philippines’ hosting of APEC in 2015.