Potential development of a Southeast Asia Regional Economic Integration Organization as a strategy for expanding regional cooperation under the global climate change regime
The countries of Southeast Asia have abundant, cross-boarder natural resources and face common adverse impacts of climate change. However, the collective behavior of the Group 77 during global climate negotiations cannot represent the best interests of Southeast Asian countries. Responding to these regional concerns is one of the major goals of the Asia Regional Economic Integration Organization (REIO) proposal. This dissertation proposes that Southeast Asian countries use an independent organization, called an Asia REIO, to represent their best interest during the climate negotiations. This Asia REIO is a joint implementation measure to mitigate GHG emissions of the developing countries in Southeast Asia. This initial proposal envisions the Asia REIO as a credit generating and supply market with transparent information and effective regulation. When the Asia REIO mature enough, it would be able to upgrade from a REIO format to a joint fulfillment agreement, in which Southeast Asia countries can take physical reduction commitments under the Protocol and perform as an "Asia Bubble" under the climate change regime. To become a Bubble Party, the Asia REIO should: (1) improve information accuracy on emission inventory by using "new and additional financial resources;" (2) develop regional policies and measures for an Asia REIO; (3) promote regional flexible mechanisms standards; (4) establish a "CDM exchange market" for investment and trading; (5) establish a "single CDM market' and finally (6) select emission reduction commitments to trigger the group participation in the Asia Bubble. In order to encourage widespread participation in the post-2012 framework, Appendix II discusses the possibility of Taiwan's membership in the proposed Asian Bubble, without violating the current political status quo between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC).