Low Carbon Cities

The Necessity of Eco-efficiency Partnership in North-East Asia

The vibrant economic growth in East and North-East Asia has been based on material- and energy-intensive economic structure. This nature of economic structure has generated a considerable amount of concern on environmental sustainability and economic vulnerability. In ENEA, while the absolute consumption has increased significantly, the overall economy has seen energy intensity decrease due to improvement in economic productivity. 

  • Total domestic material consumption (DMC) of six member States in 2005: 63 percent of the total DMC in Asia and the Pacific.
  • DMC per capita, 1990-2005: increased in China, Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation by annual increase of 7.0 percent, 1.5 percent and 5.3 percent respectively; decreased in Japan by 1.3 percent.
  • Material intensity in DMC per dollar of GDP, 1990-2005: decreased in China and the Republic of Korea by 2.0 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, thereby improving the material intensity of economy; increased in the Russian Federation by 6.0 percent.
  • Energy efficiency in GDP per unit of energy use (constant 2005 PPP $ per kg of oil equivalent), 1995-2009: increased in China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation by 76 percent, 70 percent and 67 percent respectively, followed by Japan (13 percent) and the Republic of Korea (10 percent).


The NEASPEC initiative on eco-efficiency is based on the crucial challenge for the subregion to transcend old models of development and forge a new path onto efficient consumption of natural resources and reduced production of environmental pollution. Since the need for joint activities on eco-efficiency was unanimously perceived as a meaningful agenda of NEASPEC at the 12th Senior Officials Meeting, three thematic areas were established: Eco-Tax Reform Partnership, Public-Private-Civil Society Partnership, and Urban Governance Partnership. Specific areas of work have included carbon footprint labeling and low-carbon cities, where intergovernmental discussions and actions have been promoted through expert group meetings, research on policy and technical options, and information sharing.

  • Civil Society Partnership Focusing on Knowledge Sharing in the Field of Eco-labeling

The Secretariat and the Mongolian Government organized capacity building training for Mongolian experts in eco-labeling in collaboration with the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism of Mongolia (MONET), and Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in May 2012. The training focused on the review of national process of Type I eco-label, and participants from other member Sates shared specific national scheme, products category, criteria, and certification procedures.


  • Information Platform for Low Carbon City Strategies

The Secretariat facilitates knowledge sharing on low carbon city (LCC) development in North-East Asia through an information platform for collecting, analyzing and distributing strategies and plans for low carbon, green cities. In this connection, NEASPEC, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and WWF jointly hosted an international symposium “Realizing Low Carbon Cities in North-East Asia: Bridging science, policy and promoting cooperation”  in 2013 to review and discuss key issues on LCC development in the subregion, and to exchange views on the potential of forming a subregional LCC partnership network. It came to the conclusion on the need to launch a cooperation partnership for information sharing and capacity building as practical means to address the needs expressed by countries to support city initiatives in moving towards low carbon pathway.


NEASPEC Secretariat