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Activist : ASEAN Economic Community must implement low carbon development path

February 05, 2015

Jakarta, Ekuatorial – Amid of ASEAN Economic Community to be implemented by end of 2015, activists on Wed (4/2) warned on its impact on increasing greenhouse gas emission which was responsible for climate change.

“ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is more focused on moving buyers from trading to investment. So, it’s mostly about trade and investment. The reason behind is that ASEAN [is] looking at liberalized way, liberalized investment as a way to help the region to prosperous, boost economic development. There is concerns about this development path,” said Riza Bernabe, Policy and Research Coordinator of Oxfam-GROW East Asia, which is a part of A-FAB, ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious, and Binding Global Climate Deal coalition along with Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA), in a press conference in Jakarta.

For Oxfam, Bernabe said, the concern was related to the implication of this type of development on ASEAN’s greenhouse gas emission. “If you are going to create an ASEAN economic community, you have to pursue development path that is low carbon which do not contribute to climate change,” she said. “It’s because SEA is reeling from climate change impacts and undermining people’s security.”

Orly Mercado, Secretary General of EROPA, cited on IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] study which concluded that if carbon emissions were not reduced then global temperature would reach 6 degree Celsius by the end of century. “Which is basically leads to irreversible catastrophic problems. But, yet it does not take center stage [in ASEAN],” said Mercado adding that environment holds third place in the community.

“Most important issue for human security is climate change. When you talk about disaster, you cannot dissociate from climate change,” said the former politician.

Furthermore, Bernabe had recommended for ASEAN nation to take stronger position not only in climate change negotiations but also to come up with regional plans and initiatives which encourage low carbon development.

“Apart from pushing low carbon, but also develop regional programs that countries come up with adaptation practices that support communities to anticipate and prepare of negative impacts, especially agriculture, urban areas, coastal areas that are negative effect of climate change,” she said. “Regional programs which are not just focus on economic but also helping prepare people to deal with climate change.”

Meanwhile, Atty. Zelda Soriano, legal and political advisor of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said that it was still far from expecting ASEAN to be a powerful block at climate change negotiation such as G77. “But, having ten countries within one regional organization, that matters,” said Soriano. “These ten countries will actively convince other governments within true negotiating block [that is] the G77. It will play active and positive consensus building role within G77. Not need for formal negotiating title or block to do role of convincing other governments.” Fidelis E. Satriastanti


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