Leaders of Southeast Asian nations must step up efforts in saving the environment as climate change threatened to derail the 2015 economic integration goal set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a coalition announced on Friday.
Climate change is a critical issue in the region because countries do not have the capacity to cope with its escalating effects, according to ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Climate Deal (A-FAB), a coalition led by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Oxfam.
“Its impacts also have far-reaching social and economic consequences, affecting health, agriculture, security and the economy. Climate change is set to exacerbate the economic disparity between and within nations,” A-FAB said during a press conference at the United Nations climate change talks in Bangkok, Thailand.
Oxfam policy and research officer Riza Bernabe said developed countries must provide substantial initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund to fulfill their commitment to mobilize US$100 billion per year to support climate mitigation in developing countries, including in Southeast Asia.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia political advisor Zelda DT Soriano said she hoped governments could design a work program to put climate negotiations back on the right track at the Bangkok meeting.