Third, it continually reminds us that inclusive and active participation is important. The BCG economy naturally involves the active participation of stakeholders, even across borders. In this context, the growing role of the private sector must be underlined. In fact, the International Energy Agency has pointed out that approximately 70% of the $3.9 trillion in global clean energy investments needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 must come from private investment, which highlights the need for low-cost financing. But participation also includes the wider community (eg sector coalitions, civil society and government). In other words, BCG’s economy solutions require a whole-of-society approach.
However, the success of BCG’s cost-saving solutions depends on our support for its key drivers: the regulatory environment; technology and innovation; and stakeholder participation.
We can support these key drivers by addressing their challenges. For example, a common problem in the regulatory environment is policy siloing, which forms when communication and coordination among decision makers is weak. Applying BCG’s economic principles of inclusive and active participation would strengthen institutions by linking policy-making and policy-implementing entities, thereby promoting good governance. This could take the form of regular channels for coordination and sharing of ideas between agencies, or strong regulatory instruments such as carbon budgeting and ex ante environmental impact assessments, or even a coordination strategy at the scale of the economy, among others.
Another way to support key drivers of the BCG economy is to leverage international cooperation and collaboration. There is reasonable value in creating networks that connect multiple stakeholders across economies. Apec itself, as a regional forum, can incubate new ideas and advance discussions on BCG economic solutions. Much of this work will be done in 2022 as part of Thailand’s host year, which has made promoting the BCG economy its top priority.
Ultimately, everyone plays a key role in solving climate change. Policy makers, academia, business, civil society organizations, youth and other stakeholders can jointly contribute to ensure that Apec can chart new paths inspired by the BCG economy and ensure a future where future generations can live better.
Sylwyn Calizo Jr.
Sylwyn Calizo Jr. is a researcher for the Apec Policy Support Unit and author of the policy brief, “Charting New Pathways for Apec: A Sustainable Future Inspired by the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy.”