ASEAN ministers adopt statement on climate change

HANOI - The 2015 ASEAN joint statement on climate change was adopted by participants of the 13th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment, which wrapped up yesterday in Ha Noi.

Approving the joint statement on climate change was one of the major aims of the 13th AMME.

The statement is scheduled to be submitted at the 27th ASEAN Summit held in Malaysia in November and presented at the 21st Conference of Parties held in Paris in December.

It was released yesterday at the press conference held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which hosted the meeting.

ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said at the press conference that the joint statement outlines 17 sustainable development goals that were adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on September 25.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said the joint statement was expected to be presented at the 21st Conference of Parties by Malaysia, the chair of ASEAN, after receiving the green light at the 27th ASEAN Summit.

The joint statement reaffirmed previous statements by ASEAN on climate change and aligns with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Ha said.

Via the joint statement, ASEAN members expressed hopes that the UNFCCC be made aware that ASEAN countries are suffering from climate change, he said.

Also at the press conference, the ministry of environment announced main outcomes achieved at the 13th AMME.

ASEAN ministers highly appreciated the initiative by Viet Nam to develop a Declaration on ASEAN Post 2015 Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Agenda for approval at the 27th ASEAN Summit, said Nguyen Van Tai, head of the Viet Nam Environment Administration.

The ASEAN ministers reviewed regional co-operation efforts on a number of environmental issues, as well as discussed new initiatives to further promote regional co-operation, he said.

The ministers also supported the development of the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Environmental Co-operation and the roadmap for a haze-free ASEAN, he said.

It was scheduled to reach the target of a haze-free ASEAN by 2020. The ASEAN members pledged to implement drastic measures to monitor haze in the context of the El Nino weather pattern.

The 14th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment is set to take place in Brunei in 2017.