Foreign Policy Blogs


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC is a grouping of countries that is "the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region."  APEC's 21 Member Economies are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.

So there are some big hitters here, including the world's two biggest economies:  the U.S. and Japan.  China is the world's fastest growing economy and Russia is one of the world's key energy suppliers.  Among these countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and China have been the most conservative , or maybe reticent is a better word , on climate change. 

The APEC leaders have just concluded meetings in Sydney and have agreed on "aspirational goals" for climate change.  See this from via the WBCSD.  The "Sydney Declaration" from the APEC members seems to be setting them on a collision course with the EU and other countries, and the UN, whose commitment to climate change appears significantly deeper.  This is a political issue in Australia, as elsewhere, and the opposition leader there, Kevin Rudd, seems poised to take the sitting PM, John Howard's job whenever elections are held this year.  Rudd is a very active proponent of strong climate change action for both Australia and internationally. 

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the "LA Times" called the conference a "festival of fakery" in an editorial:  Posturing on climate.  Ouch.  Greenpeace Australia Pacific referred to the "Sydney Distraction on climate change."   

Next stop, the UN later in September.  (See Meetings and Treaties below.)  By the way, I had hoped to get to the UN's 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference on "Climate Change:  How It Impacts Us All" in New York last week, but I had "autre chats à fouetter" as the French say so disarmingly.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change