ASEAN countries close ranks in support of deep cuts in gas emissions to combat climate change

June 9, 2009 12:05 pm 

MANILA, June 9 — Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have closed ranks to forge a common stand on Global Warming at the on-going June 1-12 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany.

The ASEAN move augurs well for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s call for early, bolder and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by all countries, particularly advanced economies.

Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez, who earlier said he was instructed by the President to work for such early and deep cuts in gas emissions, said lead ASEAN negotiators met on the side of the UNFCCC to explore and find their shared concerns.

Reporting from Bonn where he heads the Philippine delegation, Alvarez said “we have come together recognizing our collective and individual interests on Global Climate Change.”

He said he explained to the ASEAN negotiators the Philippine submissions to the conference which strongly stress that ASEAN countries are most vulnerable to the immediate impact of the creeping climate change.

The Philippine recommended interventions, Alvarez said, call for deep and early cut of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by certain economies of more than 30 to 40 percent from 2013 to 2017, and more than 50 percent from 2018 to 2022 based on 1990 levels.

The deep and early cuts, he explained, are expected to avert or at least moderate the accelerating destructive typhoons brought about by climate change that maul and batter countries along their paths.

“In ASEAN, creeping climate change is a common occurrence and its impact is a rising destruction on whole communities and food systems. We must respond to protect the region and its extremely vulnerable population,” Alvarez emphasized.

Alvarez said he has invited ASEAN groups to form “synergies” at the on-going climate change talks in fundamental issues that will moderate, if not avert, the impact of climate change and urges developing countries like China and India to limit growth of their greenhouse gas emissions.

“The other issues include financing for both mitigation and adaption for developing countries and on how these funds will be managed,” he added.

After considering various recommendations by other ASEAN parties, Alvarez said, they agreed to draft a declaration embodying the various recommendation of the ASEAN and other nations.

Last June 1, President Arroyo and Alvarez met with ASEAN heads of state who attended the ASEAN Commemorative Summit in South Korea where they discussed climate change and related issues. (PNA) LDV/OPS/ssc

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