P25. Environment and Urban Development in Asia

Session: Session 4, 8:30 – 10:00 am, Saturday 9/30

Category: Individual Papers

Location: Knowledge

Chair: Haiyi Li (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper Presenters: Conrad Hirano, Anu Unny


Asahi Shimbun’s Air Pollution Incident, 1886-1888

Speaker: Conrad Hirano
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: Northwestern University
Abstract: Asahi Shimbun’s Air Pollution Incident, 1886-1888  11. If you are submitting an individuOne of Japan’s earliest air pollution incidents was caused by Asahi Shimbun in the late 1880s. Founded in 1879, Asahi quickly became a leading newspaper in Osaka and eventually towered other presses in Japan by circulation. To maintain and enhance the scale and pace of printing activities, Asahi shifted the energy source of its printing press operation from manpower to steam power in 1886 and, as a result, faced local people’s protest because of Asahi’s intense coal smoke emissions. A local landlord, Tanaka Ryonosuke, was especially tenacious, and he disagreed with Asahi’s construction of the new factory chimney multiple times, even visiting the prefectural government to request the removal of the smokestack. In response, Asahi also wrote letters to the governor and proposed a variety of counter-pollution measures, such as regular cleaning of the chimney. At the end, the newspaper company survived the protest movement and faced much smaller local pressure by 1891. Asahi’s location in Osaka’s urban space, its relationship with the local residents, and the timing of the incident which was much earlier than major pollution incidents such as Ashio and Hitachi reveal that Japanese people of the Meiji period suffered from industrial pollution much earlier than the current scholarship has shown.

India-US Climate Change Cooperation: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges

Speaker: Anu Unny
Role: Paper Presenter
Institution/Affiliation: University of Washington
Abstract: Climate change has emerged as a major transnational issue today that affects the security of nation-states. India being a vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change has taken efforts now to advance its climate diplomacy by forging climate partnerships and exploring renewable energy options. However, being a developing country, India won’t be able to achieve its Glasgow emission reduction targets without getting financial and technological support from western countries, especially from the US. For the US also, partnering with India on climate change would be a huge opportunity in terms of regaining its image as a proactive climate player which it had lost with its earlier withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Under the present Biden Administration though US re-joined the Paris Agreement, achieving its emission reduction targets is dependent upon international collaborations as well. India and the US being two vulnerable countries to climate change and also as the world’s largest democracies can find common areas where both countries can partner and avail benefits of it. Sharing technology, exploring renewable energy options, promoting international climate diplomacy, mobilising different public and private players for climate action etc would be some steps that both countries can initiate. Apart from that, active climate action taken by India and US will persuade China, another major carbon emitter also to stick to its emission reduction commitments. This Paper will explore the possibilities of India-US climate cooperation at a deeper level and how it will inspire global action on climate change.