Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao on called Japan and China to set aside their issues and work together in helping protect the environment. Nakao was visiting Hong Kong for the Asian Financial Forum, and he said that China could learn a lot from Japan’s example.
With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, China is beset with concerns pertaining to the environment normally caused by industrial growth. Particulate matter in the air, which is bad for the health, reached as high as 24 times than the acceptable level according to the World Health Organization, causing concern among citizens. Even the center of commerce, Shanghai was hit with smog that is so dense and acidic it halted flights and forced people to wear facemasks for protection.
Nakao noted that Japan had terrible air and water pollution in the late 1960s and 1970s, but the nation took action with new laws and solved the problem. Japan should share its best practices on renewable energy technologies and innovation in low-emission hybrid vehicles with China, since Chinese leaders are serious in addressing these environmental issues. In fact, Beijing has already implemented a lottery system for car registrations in 2011. This limits the number of cars to be registered at 240,000 per year to help lessen pollution.
Nakao appealed to both nations, and neighbor countries Mongolia and South Korea, to work together and put up a climate research network and emissions trading scheme. He further said that a carbon trading market would help nations hit their targets on greenhouse gas emission at a lesser cost since East Asia makes up 30% of the global total energy-related greenhouse gas emission. The problem of pollution must be address if the nations wish to continue and support the booming Asian economy, advised Nakao.
[via Channel News Asia]
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