Asia's Response to Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Implications for an Evolving Regional Architecture
CSIS scholars examine how Asia as region is responding to the nontraditional and transboundary security threats of climate change and natural disasters, and what it means for the evolution of regional institutions to meet future challenges.The assessment looks broadly at two areas of nontraditional security cooperation in Asia: (1) climate change, including both the domestic political factors in Asia and the regional strategies for securing low-carbon pathways in anticipation of coordinated efforts to ameliorate climate change; and (2) regional approaches to disaster management. The volume concludes with an inventory of the structures for joint action in Asia and draws on case studies to assess the utility of existing and emerging institutions as the United States and the region seek greater cooperation on traditional and nontraditional security challenges.Although Asia lacks, and is not likely to develop, a single umbrella organization such as the EU or NATO, the study concludes that the region's patchwork of overlapping institutions can work to address problems in response to local environmental hazards and natural disasters but also to other security threats. Responses are effective when there is consensus on common threats and interests and when individual governments are willing to take on responsibility for forging collective action.Looking ahead, particularly with respect to U.S. policy, we believe that U.S. role will continue to be critical in supporting the region's response to many of the natural disasters it will face. At the same time, the United States should seek to focus Asia's attention increasingly on the long-term threat of climate change and other slow-onset disasters. As the authors demonstrate, not only is the region expected to be a major victim of the consequences of climate change, but it is also a source of the threat itself. If the twenty-first century is the Asian century, how the United States conducts itself as an Asian power will say much about its status as the critical actor in global affairs. The success of the United States in engaging with regional institutions will say much about how Asian states view the United States and its contribution to regional peace and stability. Overestimating the breadth and reach of the emerging regional architecture would be unwise. Underestimating the role of regional institutions, however, has the potential to unseat the United States in its status as the guarantor of Asia's security. This volume presents at least one effort to estimate the limits and aspirations of Asia's evolving regional architecture in a real-world context.
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action agenda APEC areas ASEAN Asia Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Asia-Pacific Partnership Asia’s Asian countries Asian regional Australia bilateral billion carbon Center challenges China China and India Chinese Clean Development climate change coal collaboration coordination Copenhagen create CSIS Cyclone Nargis developing countries disaster management disaster response disaster risk domestic earthquake economic growth effective efforts emerging emissions reduction emitters energy consumption energy efficiency energy security environmental Framework fuel funding GHG emissions global greenhouse humanitarian impact important India Indonesia industrial International Energy Agency issues Japan Korea Kyoto Protocol low-carbon economy low-carbon energy low-carbon pathways major Mekong River Mekong River Commission military mitigation multilateral Nargis negotiations networks nuclear Pakistan percent political reduce emissions regional architecture regional initiatives regional institutions regional organizations renewable energy role SAARC scenario sector Sichuan Six-Party talks slow-onset strategies Taiwan targets tion Tsunami Core Group UNFCCC United