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Climate Change in the Ministerial Tables


Today, the Ministers on Energy from all of 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) are gathering in Vientiane, Lao PDR for the 32nd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (32nd AMEM).

How high “climate change” in their agenda?

Let’s see the history.

First time the word of “climate change” poped out in the ministerial statement is at the 18th AMEM – since their first meeting in 1980 – which was held on 3 July 2000 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. However, it’s not really a statement on the aspire of the miniters but rather on the information of the event that attended by AMS, namely Workshop on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) / Conference of Electric Power Supply Industry (CEPSI) 2000 , 23 – 27 October 2000, Manila, Philippines.

At the 19th AMEM on 5 July 2001 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, the cooperation between ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and  the Climate Change Information Center of the Philippines is being appreciate by the Ministers as the implementation progress of the Hanoi Plan of Action’s (HPA’s) Energy Action Agenda/ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 1999-2004.

Unfortunatelly, it’s not in the agenda during the the 20th AMEM on 5 July 2002, in Bali, Indonesia, as well as the 21st AMEM on 3 July 2003, Langkawi Island, Malaysia.

It’s not boldy stated in the Ministerial Statement also during the 22nd AMEM in Makati City, Metro Manila, however this Ministerial Meeting took “Enhanced Energy Security for Sustainable Energy Development” for their theme which is reflect the concern on climate change. Same way happened at the 23rd AMEM on 13 July 2005 in Siem Reap, Cambodia with its theme: “Promoting Greater Energy Stability, Security and Sustainability:Pathway to ASEAN Community 2020”.

Climate change dissapeared again in the 24th, 25th and 26th AMEM.

On 29 July 2009, Myanmar as the host country of the 27th AMEM in Mandalay, Myanmar, highlighted the important of the region to embrace global challenges such as energy security, climate change, environmental degradation and global financial crisis. To address the climate change, Ministers agreed to pursue the aspirational goal of reducing regional energy intensity of at least 8% by 2015 based on 2005 level.

The 28th AMEM in Hanoi, Vietnam (Courtesy of Vietnamnews)

At the 28th AMEM on 23 July 2010 in Da Lat, Viet Nam, Climate Change is on the center of the stage as the Ministers embraced “Energy and Climate Change” as the theme, which clearly demonstrates ASEAN cooperation priorities and commitment to action for sustainable development and in addressing global and regional pressing challenges. The Ministers noted the Leaders’ vision for an ASEAN Community resilient to climate change as set out in the 2009 ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate
Change. The Ministers noted the Leaders’ vision for an ASEAN Community resilient to climate change as set out in the 2009 ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change.

One year later, at the 29th AMEM 0n 20 September 2011 in Jerudong, Brunei Darussalam, the Ministers commended the work completed by senior officials and various working groups and noted the good progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2010 – 2015 which was steadily advancing regional energy cooperation and building the ASEAN Community while playing a visible role in the global efforts to address climate change.

At the 30th AMEM on 12 September 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, took the theme of ‘ASEAN Green Connectivity’, ASEAN Member States reflect their high participation in production and utilisation of energy to minimize any harm to the environment, ecosystem, nature and society aiming reduction on global climate change. In strengthening the APAEC 2010-2015, the Ministers reiterated their commitment made in 2010 to further strengthen ASEAN efforts in addressing climate change and enhancing ASEAN energy cooperation towards a greener ASEAN energy sector and low-carbon economy, and the role of clean energy technologies towards this end.

Last year, during the 31st AMEM on 25 September 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, although no specific word on climate change, the Ministers continues to echo sustaibility to reflect their concern.

This values in line with what APEC Ministerial Meeting just stated on Beijing Declaration under theme; Joining Hands Toward Sustainable Energy Development in the Asia-Pacific Region. Going further that ASEAN, APEC clearly stated their intention to adap and mitigate the climate change.

So, looking to what happen in the other side of the world -[ People’s Climate March In New York City ]- , big hope for the region to elevate the concern on Climate Change at today’s Ministerial meeting on Energy in Vientiane, Lao PDR.


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