Back in my home country (the US) some of the more weasely politicians say we shouldn't commit to binding CO2 reductions (as in the Kyoto Protocol) until rapidly developing nations (like China) also make binding commitments - because (it is said) with their fast growing economies and large populations these developing nations are the climate polluters of tomorrow.
Meanwhile, some in Asia protest that the West created the climate change problem, not them - so the West should do something about it.
OK, it's true that the average Chinese person currently consumes one third of the energy that an average European consumes and one seventh of an American's consumption. And it's true that some Asian nations are building far too many new coal plants. But playing the blame game gets nothing done (which is probably what some people want).
You probably hear all the time about environmental groups in Europe and the Americas pressuring their governments and corporations to act on climate change. You've probably heard about Al Gore and the ground swell of activism in the West.
Well, there is also a surge of climate activism in Asia, with our offices there helping to lead the way.
This week both Greenpeace China and Greenpeace South East Asia released energy [r]evolution blueprints showing how China and other Asian countries can have economic growth, while at the same time stabilize its CO2 emissions.
As Sven Teske, one of our energy experts, says, "Even as we campaign for massive emission reduction and phase out of dirty energy in the developed countries, we have to ensure that the developing countries protect their economic development interests without exacerbating the problems of climate change. It is the populations of these developing countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”
Meanwhile, Greenpeace India's Ban the Bulb campaign continues to get massive media coverage in that country. And Greenpeace Philippine's recent protest against the Asian Development Bank for funding major coal projects has gotten the attention of the industry.
It's starting to look like an energy revolution just might sweep Asia. Hope we can keep up in the West.