We need to take substantial action to address climate change and its effects, said the ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious, and Binding Global Climate Deal (A-FAB) Coalition during a livestreamed press briefing between Manila, Bangkok, and Jakarta.
A-FAB is made up of Greenpeace, Oxfam, and the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA).
“The burning of fossil fuels for energy production has been found to be primarily responsible for emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases. A harmonized ASEAN policy reform to de-subsidize coal, oil, gas, and to support renewable and other low carbon technologies is therefore necessary, especially in the context of the ASEAN economic integration,” said Zelda Soriano, Legal and Political Advisor of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Soriano added that ways to address carbon emission during energy production can be built into the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) or climate action plans of ASEAN countries that they intend to undertake under the climate treaty that the 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hopes to come up with.
“INDCs are concrete steps of the global community to address climate change,” said Wanun Permpibul, Coordinator, Climate Action Network, Thailand. However, governments, Permpibul said, shouldn’t rush creating their INDCs and should instead focus on their quality.
Call for developed countries to take responsibility
But it’s not just ASEAN countries that need to step up.
“There are no outsiders in the climate change issue,” said Dr. Gary Theseira, Environment Management and Climate Change Division Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia. “Climate change affects everyone.” He added that some countries benefited more than others from the use of fossil fuels during the industrial period, and these countries have a greater responsibility to use their resulting wealth to help address climate change.
Zelda Soriano, Legal and Political Advisor of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said that just 90 entities have contributed to 63% of overall global carbon emissions. Of these, 50 are corporations.
“We believe that countries primarily responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, should also be responsible for addressing the adaptation needs of climate change victims,” said Riza Bernabe, Policy and Research Coordinator for the East Asia GROW campaign of Oxfam. — TJD, GMA News
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