November 2017
The Jeju Peace Institute is delighted to present the ‘Jeju Forum Alumni Newsletter,’ created to spread and realize the ideas and visions discussed at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. In this issue, Yves Tiberghien, Professor, University of British Columbia, reflects on the success of the Jeju Forum to date and highlights paths forward. This issue also brings you some of the highlights of the 12th Jeju Forum held this past June and a video message from Mark Beeson, Professor of International Politics at the University of Western Australia. We look forward to your feedback and continued support.
The Remarkable Platform and Spirit of the Jeju Forum: Impact on norms and networks in East Asia Yves Tiberghien Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Executive Director of the UBC China Council, Associate Professor of Political Science at UBC
After decades of increased economic integration and institution-building, the Asia-Pacific region has entered a much more competitive and tense period over the last three years. While the short-term horizon is dominated by extremely high risks around North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and the rippling effects of populism in the US and Europe on free trade and globalization, long-term trends point toward a series of profound issues: the rise of China and India, intense geopolitical competition, territorial disputes, increased migration, cyber threats, competition around the 4th industrial revolution, and zero sum behavior linked to a common climate threat all require novel thinking and new institutional efforts. Venues and incentives for such creative efforts are few and far between.

Fortunately, the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity has emerged since 2001 as one of the most innovative and stimulating platforms to reduce misperceptions, stimulate new ideas, weave new networks, and test new initiatives in a safe and relaxed environment. In contrast to other high level summits and track-2 meetings in the Asia-Pacific, there is comparatively less grand-standing and more genuine in-depth brainstorming among policy leaders of all key countries at Jeju.

It is a delicate formula crafted by a coalition of Korean actors(central government, Jeju government, academic institutions, think tanks, regional leaders, business, and NGOs) over 16 years. The forum brings together Korean political leaders(including President Moon Jae-In through an inspiring video speech) and Senior Adviser Moon Chung-in, high profile former world leaders(such as former US President Al Gore, former Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, and former Portuguese Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva), along with policy leaders, business leaders, civil society leaders, indigenous leaders, and think tank / academic leaders. The inspiring setting and great human atmosphere on the slightly remote Southern shore of Jeju Island tend to create a special quality bubble that brings the best of people and a focus on common public goods.

For sure, some panels on security issues or global economic institutions led to predictable nationally-determined positions without great common ground among the various sides. However, I have also witnessed remarkable exchanges among high-ranking policy advisers from adversaries, who were able to converge to a common understanding of facts and even elements of compromise and consensus on issues such as THAAD and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Such “epiphanies” are rare in international politics and prove the incredible value of the Jeju forum. Once openings of that sort appear, they can be pursued further through dinner conversations or even a joint walk in Jeju’s “healing forest”(another remarkable treasures of Jeju).

The Jeju forum is also striking for the quality exploration of deep long-term trends with well-managed and diverse panels. This year, panels on the future of the Liberal International Order, climate change politics(following Al Gore’s wonderful speech) and the 4th Industrial Revolution and its impact on both innovation and equality, were particularly noteworthy. It is rare to witness the quality of discussions and long-term insights found at Jeju.

Compared to other quality panels that occasionally take place in the best national think tanks, the Jeju forum brings strong, innovative, and diverse Asian voices that are likely to play a central role in shaping our global future.

Also remarkable is the role played by Jeju Special Self Governing Province, under the leadership of the extremely dedicated Governor Won Heeryong, whom I had the pleasure to meet. Following a painful post-war history and a legacy of poverty, Jeju has now emerged as a visionary green pioneer, an eco-tourism hub, and a high-tech hub. Jeju’s own transformation deserves to be studied and known more widely.

Given the strengths and momentum of the Jeju Forum, I have a few suggestions on how to further increase its impact. The most important task is to find more avenues to document some of the intellectual and human breakthroughs that take place at Jeju and to build on them. It may be possible to form small, well-selected, and mediated groups of policy leaders from key countries to reach consensus on difficult issues and to write down joint policy recommendations or even joint aspirational declarations. Or, it could be conceivable to ensure that a panel where an “epiphany” took place can meet again the following year and follow up with a lunch or dinner to deepen the potential “epiphany.” Additionally, it may be possible to have a small team of academic/think tank mediators(cutting across nationalities) put together a series of informal joint ideas that emerged from discussions and that could be circulated among governments as blueprints for consensus, while protecting the identity of leaders involved?

Getting key Asian and world leaders(including former, current, and rising leaders) together with civil society, indigenous groups, business and academic leaders in a relatively remote but beautiful location is a great achievement. There may be further creative steps that could be conceived in order to take advantage of this constructed common serendipity to generate new ideas and institutional embryos. The Jeju Forum represents a huge asset and the outcome of both vision and cooperation by the entire Korean society. It deserves to play an even bigger role in catalyzing positive change for Asia and the world.

Yves Tiberghien(Ph.D. Stanford University, 2002) is the Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Executive Director of the UBC China Council, Associate Professor of Political Science at UBC, and a Senior Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada.
Supergrid and New Green Opportunities in East Asia
The era of Supergrid is about to happen with electricity produced by the wind and solar power in Mongolia. This will connect China, Japan and Korea allowing them to share green energy. Stakeholders of those countries initiated a study on 2GW Electricity Grid and no technological problems have been found. Future tasks are to build business models along with the government. On the other hand, China is going to introduce Nationwide Cap-and-Trade system in 2017, while Korea has introduced it since 2015 and Japan at regional level long before. Will there be any chance for ‘carbon market linkage’ between the countries? Will there be new ‘Rapprochement’ in pursuit of those green cooperation in the East Asia?

The following are excerpts from the final report of the Jeju Forum 2017.
- KIM Sang-Hyup Chairman, Coalition for Our Common Future
- CHO Hwan-Eik CEO, Korea Electric Power Corporation
- Robert STAVINS Albert Pratt Professor, Harvard University
- Frank RIJSBERMAN Director-General, Global Green Growth Institute
- KIM Hong-Gyun Director, Korea Electric Power Corporation
- Kilaparti RAMAKRISHNA Director, UN ESCAP
- CHO Hwan-Eik This is an overview of what South Korea has done to build a Northeast Asia supergrid so far. The proposed Northeast Asia supergrid is aimed at developing and sharing renewable energy as well as enhancing power system reliability. Unfortunately, renewable energy is distributed unevenly and concentrated in certain areas, and areas with rich renewable energy sources are not necessarily areas with the demand. The role of the Northeast Asia supergrid is to build a “Smart Energy Belt” in ways that make renewable energy sources storable, transportable and controllable by smart grids. The project has developed to such an extent that a Memorandum of Understanding on joint promotion of an interconnected electric power grid, spanning Northeast Asia, was signed in March last year, and a pilot project was initiated for the first time between Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan.
Jeju has the clean air, however such routine happiness from clean air will become less available. Fine dust is causing a serious problem in our neighbor, China. The energy companies should draw a new picture of power generation in line with the government’s policy to address the issue of resolving fine dust. The time has come for us to come up with ways to replace coal-fired power fundamentally, and hopefully together with fossil fuels.
- Frank RIJSBERMAN Like all technologies across a rapidly competitive landscape, the speed of deployment and its cost are critical and major factors. The Asia supergrid was conceptualized to speed up the deployment of clean, safe and affordable renewable energy. The Asia supergrid attempts to pave the way for maximizing the use of renewable energy by taking advantage of diversity in loads and resources as well as increasing global access to reliable and sustainable energy for all by 2050. Plenty of renewable energy generation has been secured and is under development. Now the question is how to move the renewable energy throughout Asia. Asia represents about two-thirds of the total world population. Electricity generation by Japan, China, Korea and Russia represents 76 percent of Asia’s total, and similarly, electricity consumption by these four countries represents 77 percent of Asia’s total.
Simply put, Japan, China, Korea, and Russia together represent a vast majority of electricity generation and consumption in the most populated regions in the world. This can be interpreted as, if joining grids together in Northeast Asia is possible, then there is a possibility of joining grids together worldwide to solve global energy issues. The falling costs are paving the way to pervasive low cost local renewable energy, which some critics say makes a supergrid largely limited in its potential. But the idea of a supergrid is appealing because one can invest more highly in areas with the greatest and cheapest renewable energy potential without worrying about how to use it.
Although battery storage prices are dropping, the scope of energy bulk and transmission between current storage technologies and the conceptual supergrid is a different magnitude. The heaviest bulk energy storage systems, composed of pumped hydropower and compressed air mechanisms, and even hydrogen fuel cell technology are meant to handle loads approaching one gigawatt, whereas the supergrid concept means to sustain transmissions of up to ten gigawatts to distant high-demand areas. For some locales that lack clean energy resources, or with those that have a strong traditional transmission infrastructure, such as areas of predominant coal use, ultra-high voltage lines provide a good bridge technology, providing cheaper cleansourced electricity to meet demand, while incentivizing transition to a cleaner local energy mix. It is apparent as part of the discussion that a supergrid will offer countries like Korea and Japan cheaper and abundant clean energy from China and central Asia(Mongolia) as the international scope of the grid would enable transmission over, though cross-border, shorter distances. China has already laid down 75.5 billion dollars in new transmission lines as of 2015 to disburse these concentration resources, but a supergrid would enable the release of an immense amount of cheap clean energy within a vast region. Yet the medium and longer-term benefits of a regional supergrid will provide the backbone that accelerates a clean energy revolution.
In light of both its vast potential and possible shortfalls, the Global Green Growth Institute(GGGI)’s current support for the green growth cooperation among China, Korea and Japan focuses on systems and platforms that leverage and hope to accelerate the deployment of the supergrid. Our focus on linking Emissions Trading Systems(ETS) and finding green growth collaboration areas between these three countries relates strongly to the supergrid potential as an accelerating instrument. Green growth cooperation in Northeast Asia needs to center around keeping and accelerating the momentum of green growth domestically in light of the rapid changes in China and new opportunities through the One Belt, One Road initiative, while building on Japan’s commitments and technology. There are new opportunities, and the private sector is strong in Korea.
- Robert STAVINS What are some of the possibilities for climate change policy linkage among China, Japan and Korea? A key challenge for the eventual success of the Paris Climate Accord is whether the agreement, with its Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) anchored in domestic political realities, can adequately address emissions with sufficient ambition? Are there ways to enable and facilitate increased ambition over time? One of the answers could be linking regional, national, and sub-national policies and connections among policy systems that allow emission reduction efforts to be redistributed across systems. Linkage is typically framed as between cap-and-trade systems, but regional, national, and sub-national policies are highly heterogeneous. Among the potential merits of linkage are the ability to achieve cost savings and improve the functioning of individual markets by reducing market power, reducing total price volatility and allowing for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)’s principals of common but differentiated responsibilities. On the other hand, concerns include: distributional impacts within jurisdictions; automatic propagation of some design elements; and reduction of national autonomy.
The greatest challenge to linkage under the Paris Agreement is that the NDCs exhibit three types of heterogeneity. First, there are heterogeneous instruments, which include cap-and-trade systems, emission reduction credits, taxes, performance standards, and technology standards. Second, there are heterogeneous jurisdictions, including regional, national, and sub-national policies. Finally, there are heterogeneous NDCs targets that would include hard emissions caps, relative mass-based emissions caps such as relative to business-as-usual, rates based emissions caps, such as per unit of economic activity or per unit of output, and non-emissions caps such as penetration of renewable energy sources. Looking at one of the simplest examples of such multi-dimensional heterogeneity, we can think about linking two cap-and-trade systems, which are both at the national level, and both have NDCs in the form of mass-based caps. Even in such a case, linkage is fairly straightforward, but specific design elements can raise concerns, if not impediments to feasibility.
These include elements of design heterogeneity and differences in allowance prices, scope of sectoral coverage, regulations, nature of the caps, allocation, monitoring and reporting, enforcement provisions, cost-containment provisions. In current research, I am examining three key questions regarding the numerous combinations of various types of heterogeneous linkage. First, which links are feasible among the set of instrument-jurisdiction-target combinations? Second, are some types of feasible links not desirable? Third, what accounting treatments and tracking mechanisms are necessary for various types of links? The results of this research will be presented at the next UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, in Bonn in November 2017.
What needed to be in the Paris Accord to facilitate linkage? And the first principle should be do no harm if it is poorly designed. The 2016 agreement could have inhibited effective linkage. Then what the Paris Accord needed to include is a statement that countries can achieve parts of their intended NDC targets by financing or otherwise facilitating actions in other jurisdictions.
Policy Implications
• Renewable energy matters much because it is distributed.
• A pilot project has recently been initiated for the first time between Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan to jointly develop the Northeast Asian Supergrid.
• It is about time that energy companies drew a new picture of power generation in line with the government’s policy towards green growth.
• Regional cooperation for green growth should center around keeping and accelerating the momentum of green growth domestically in light of the rapid change in China and new opportunities through the One Belt, One Road initiative while building on Japan’s commitments and technology.
Interview with an Alumnus
JPI PeaceTalk with Mark Beeson, Professor of International Politics at the University of Western Australia
In this JPI PeaceTalk, Professor Mark Beeson discusses the state of regional cooperation and integration in East Asia and Europe, the need for an educated populace to safeguard democracy against populism, the enduring legacy of the European Union in promoting peace and stability, and the diverse prospects for regionalism around the world.
Jeju Forum Media Kit
The Jeju Forum Secretariat has released a media coverage for the 12th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, which was held from May 31st to June 2nd. This media coverage is a collection of 662 media reports of the event, ranging from preview articles dated February 23rd to final stories dated June 14th by 121 domestic and foreign media outlets. The coverage is broken down into 346 reports by newspapers and magazines, 22 by broadcasting stations, 86 by English newspapers and foreign media, and 208 by news agencies and online media. This year’s forum was successfully publicized through a variety of media coverages before and after the event.
Participating Institutions of the Jeju Forum
East Asia Foundation
The East Asia Foundation, established as a non-profit organization for the public good, was officially registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea in January 2005, to promote peace and prosperity in East Asia through the creation of human and knowledge networks. As part of its efforts to accomplish its founding goals, the East Asia Foundation (EAF) has been participating in the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity (formerly called the Jeju Peace Forum) as a co-hosting organization since the 3rd Jeju Peace Forum in 2005. The foundation has been playing a key role as an agenda setter for promoting peace (diplomacy and security) and prosperity (economy and trade) in Asia. It provides a platform for discussions on core issues surrounding the Korean peninsula and beyond such as Northeast Asian security cooperation, peace in East Asia, the future of Korean unification, security architecture and geopolitics in East Asia, nuclear threats and solutions for non-proliferation, multilateral economic cooperation and trade, and international cooperation in the environment and with energy.
JoongAng Ilbo
The JoongAng Ilbo is the flagship newspaper of the nation owned by Korea’s largest media group, JoongAng Media Network (JMnet). Founded in 1965, the JoongAng Ilbo has attracted the largest readership of any Korean language newspaper transcending gender, age, ideology, and geography. It has led the history of Korean newspapers with pioneering moves including the use of Korean instead of Chinese characters in the headlines, the introduction of horizontal text and sections, the introduction of the Sunday edition JoongAng Sunday, and the switch to the more compact Berliner format. Since 2012, the JoongAng Ilbo has been an annual co-host of the Jeju Forum. As the media partner, the JoongAng Ilbo along with JMnet subsidiaries JTBC, Korea JoongAng Daily, and the Economist delivered news from the Jeju Forum to readers and viewers in Korea and around the world.
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