ASEAN on the front lines of climate change

  • Whatsapp – ASEAN commitments towards climate change responses date back to the early 1990s, when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was formulated and ratified.

ASEAN is fully committed to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and has played active and leadership roles in addressing climate change issues in the global community. The ASEAN Leaders have reaffirmed continuously our commitments to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement—in alignment with the broader outcomes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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ASEAN Declarations, Statements, and events have been regularly released and organised, for instance, the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action and an expanded session with partners in 2018 to respond to the Talanoa Dialogue.

With the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025, the governance system, strategy, and action plan on environment and climate change have been established and implemented.

It’s like to highlight that all the ASEAN Member States are parties to UNFCCC and Paris Agreement. Member States have pro actively taken measures to address the issue at local, national, regional levels by setting various mechanisms, policies, strategies, and action plan for green house gas reduction and climate adaptation.

Regularly, Member States report their progress and achievements in climate action in their respective countries, and especially during each Conference of Parties session of UNFCCC.

Currently countries are working on the updates to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which set concrete targets for each country to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change by 2030.

Although the commitment to green house gas reduction targets is voluntary for least developed countries like Cambodia, setting clear targets demonstrates ASEAN Member States’ serious commitment toad dressing this disastrous global threat.

Along side, ASEAN is working closely with many partners and international organisations at various levels to advance climate action in the region through joint initiatives or policy dialogues, such as theannual ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate Change.

One of the key commitments made by ASEAN is to achieve a 21.9 per centreduction in energy intensity compared to 2005 levels.

This exceeds the 2020 target set by the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2016–2025. There are also other initiatives being developed to target specific sectors, such as the ASEAN Fuel Economy Road map for the Transport Sector 2018–2025.

To expedite climate action and the achievement of NDC ambitions, the ASEAN Member States, partners, and international organisations may need to continue and further enhance international cooperation and assistance, post-pandemic, in the area of financing, the transfer of technology, and capacity-building, for both climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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