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Book Chapter

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As humankind tries to address the climate change problem, we find the need to look upstream—to change the ways in which we use energy—and the need for more programmatic or systems-oriented approaches. To achieve significant energy savings, we need cooperation mechanisms that can spur widespread improvements in energy efficiency and conservation. These mechanisms must address large quantities of energy, have significant impact and induce lasting change. Project-based technology cooperation only gets us so far in that effort; only a limited number of projects can be conducted with public funds. To achieve widespread improvements, we need something more; we need policies that promote investments of private funds in energy efficiency and energy conservation across multiple economic sectors. In international cooperation on energy efficiency, there is an important trend of increasing efforts to support the development of policies that promote the conservation and efficient use of energy. Policy development cooperation is an effective use of limited funds, in that it creates a top-down push and an enabling environment for widespread investments in energy efficiency, all from a relatively small investment of public funds.

This chapter first characterizes different forms of cooperation on energy efficiency occurring in East Asia and offers a definition of policy development cooperation. Lessons from technology cooperation—a dominant form of cooperation in the past and present—are then discussed. Next, an overview of current policy development cooperation on energy efficiency in East Asia is provided, along with analysis of how policy development cooperation works and the key factors contributing to its success.


This work appears as Chapter 4 in: Sugiyama, T. & Ohshita, S.B. (2006). Cooperative Climate: Energy Efficiency Action in East Asia. Winnipeg: IISD. Available online: