Cooperation in the area of the environment
The Indo-Pacific is one of the global regions the most directly concerned and impacted by environmental issues and climate change.
France has significant ambition for the climate, and the Indo-Pacific is a priority region for the actions it conducts with its partners. In 2019, the region’s CO2 emissions accounted for 45% of total global emissions, with 30% coming from China. Five of the ten largest greenhouse gas emitters are located in the Indo-Pacific: China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
In the region, the frequency of natural disasters has greatly increased in the past few years. Extreme climate events caused by global warming and the degradation of ecosystems are having a significant impact on developing countries, which do not have the resources to cope with them. Small Island Developing States in the two oceans are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as well as to the risks of deterioration of ecosystems. These disasters make populations more vulnerable and constitute a real security risk.
According to the UN, the Indo-Pacific will be the region most affected by climate-displaced persons, and up to 80% of these migrations will take place in this region.
Threats to the richness of biodiversity
The Indo-Pacific region is home to the richest and most fragile biodiversity reserves on the planet. Almost half of critical biodiversity areas are in this region, where deforestation is reaching critical levels.
Working with its partners, France is taking action to promote the protection of oceans and forests, and the understanding of links between biodiversity and public health risks. Protecting the oceans is essential for the Indo-Pacific countries that depend on marine resources.
More than 85% of the populations working in the fishing or aquaculture sectors live in Asia. In the South Pacific, more than 50% of fish stocks are exploited at non-sustainable levels. Plastic pollution is another scourge of marine biodiversity and the five countries contributing most to this pollution are located in Asia.
Tackling climate and protecting the environment and biodiversity are priorities
We support a multi-dimensional approach, with the aim of together addressing all challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly climate change and the sustainable management of oceans. When it comes to tackling climate change and the sustainable energy transition, it is crucial to focus on the means required to implement ambitious mitigation measures. Many countries in the Indo-Pacific region are extremely vulnerable in this regard.
- Get partners in the region more involved in fighting climate change and in making progress on energy transition;
- Work to bolster biodiversity actions;
- Develop partnerships for ocean protection;
- Help improve the response to natural disasters;
- Promote the competencies of our territories and regional cooperation regarding these issues.
Tools are being implemented at multilateral, European and national level
At the level of the G7, just energy transition partnerships (JETPs) are being implemented to help certain countries in their energy transition. Following the model of what was done in South Africa, discussions are being held with Indonesia, India and Vietnam in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Indonesian authorities therefore produced a new nationally determined contribution (NDC) in September 2022 which has boosted their efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions. They have made the energy transition a priority of their G20 Presidency. They have also committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and to no longer use coal by the 2040s.
India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas in the world, but with low per capita emissions. India submitted a revised NDC in August 2022, which confirms that it aims to meet 50% of electricity needs with non-fossil fuel energies by 2030, thanks to technology transfers and international finance. It has committed to reduce carbon intensity of the GDP by 45% by 2030 (compared with 2005) and achieve carbon neutrality by 2070.
The partnership being negotiated has four key objectives:
- Step up the development of renewable energy;
- Conduct pilot projects for a just transition from coal;
- Improve energy efficiency;
- Support the development of green hydrogen, of which India wishes to be a leading exporter.
Vietnam has pledged to review its NDCs before COP27 and to publish a strategy to reduce methane emissions. It committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.
At EU level, cooperation tools, such as the Green Team Europe initiative in partnership with ASEAN and Southeast Asia, may also be used to further the ambitious and just energy transition in the Indo-Pacific region. The benefit of engaging, together with international partners, in projects similar to the approach of the Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa in the Indo-Pacific region was underlined, for example, with Indonesia and Vietnam.
At national level, a third of AFD’s activity is in the Indo-Pacific region with resources dedicated to defending the international climate agenda. The Kiwa Initiative with the aim of strengthening the resilience of ecosystems, economies and communities of Oceania to climate change is an example. Kiwa, a multi-donor fund of more than €60 million, whose first contributor was AFD, which was later joined by the EU, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, finances projects in the South Pacific for biodiversity protection. The fund is working in 15 of the 19 countries and territories of the region, including New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis-and-Futuna.
More information on the Kiwa Initiative
To better warn and inform about risks of dangerous weather and climatic events, France launched the multi-donor initiative CREWS at COP21. Its aim is to protect lives, livelihoods and assets in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by significantly increasing the capacities of integrated multi-risk warning systems.
More information on the CREWS Initiative
In addition to Kiwa and CREWS, our actions are wide ranging: mobilizing countries in the region around ambitious climate objectives; making a specific effort in the area of solar energy; promoting the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People; implementing partnerships with our main partners on the blue economy; building capacities for response to natural disasters; and forming regional partnerships with French research institutions established in the territories.
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For more information:
France’s partnerships in the Indo-Pacific
Updated: February 2023