Despite the countless negotiation meetings and hectic schedule, Dr Gary Theseira, our respectable Head of the Malaysian Delegation in COP21 has spoken in the “Towards Low Carbon and Climate Resilient ASEAN Community Post-2015”, particularly on the “Cooperation among the ASEAN Countries on Climate Change”.
“(This is) new era of sharing on a number of (different) levels,” said Dr. Gary.
Five points of the ASEAN collaboration on climate change:
1. Sharing on information – countries have been sharing the information about the threats such as the rising sea level and the extreme events, at very detailed levels. Furthermore, the Southeast Asia countries have their diversity in terms of climate change action. For example, not all of them do carbon labelling. In this case, Thailand which made a good position in carbon labelling (Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management & Asian Institute of Technology) can share their knowledge and experience with their neighbouring nations.
2. Sharing expertise – different ASEAN countries have different forte in addressing climate change. For instance, Thailand has good education program whilst Singapore has invested a lot of effort on private sectors. Exchange in expertise will improve the capacity of each country.
3. Collaboration of monitoring and hotspots researching – A number of joint programs related to forest and natural areas have been organized between countries, for example, the Borneo forest. When two countries work together, there will be much lesser trouble on forest management and can prevent biodiversity trafficking.
4. Familiarize each other with climate finance and funds – Not all ASEAN countries are familiar with the private sectors of financing and climate. Malaysia’s Green Building Index, which is a monitor system of the building’s lifecycle (eg, carbon emission), is not common in the Southeast Asia region. Therefore, sharing of information should be done to improve communication and knowledge.
5. Drafting the Joint Statement on Climate Change – Although the ASEAN is not a negotiation bloc in the COP21, we have been working as a group to produce the joint statement for 2 consecutive years. This has strengthened the bond among the countries and showed that they are taking it very serious, as the ASEAN members are vulnerable. Food security, indigenous people are important yet fragile in these nations.
Written by Elaine See