ASEAN-EU Summit Discusses Energy and Climate Change Cooperation

L-R: Mohamed Bolkiah & Miguel Moratinos26 May 2010: The 18th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, held in Madrid, Spain, on 26 May 2010, under the theme “Partners in Regional Integration,” addressed climate change and energy cooperation, among other issues.

According to the Co-Chairs' statement, the ministers affirmed that the best way to achieve a comprehensive post-2012 climate agreement is to pursue a deal under the auspices of the UNFCCC, noting the large number of countries associating themselves with the Copenhagen Accord. They recognized the need to keep the increase in global mean surface temperature below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels and encouraged all UNFCCC parties to engage constructively and work towards a legally binding global agreement at COP 16/CMP 6 in December 2010.

Welcoming the EU's initiative of introducing, after COP 15, the “Fast Track” financial commitment to provide EUR 2.4 billion to developing countries annually from 2010-2012, ASEAN called upon the EU to take full account of the specific needs and special situations of ASEAN Member States, particularly the least developed countries in ASEAN and those most affected by climate change, and to support them with adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, transfer of technology, as well as capacity enhancement, to enable them to develop on a low emission pathway. Noting that developing countries may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support, the EU encouraged ASEAN to make active contributions to the global efforts to address climate change through the development and implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, in accordance with their different national circumstances.

The ministers welcomed intensified cooperation between the EU and ASEAN on disaster risk assessment, early warning, risk reduction and disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation, especially in light of the climate change challenges in the ASEAN region. They also agreed to enhance cooperation on food and energy security between ASEAN and the EU, anticipating greater cooperation in exploring alternatives to conventional energy resources through, among other things, the development of renewable energy sources, while taking into account the potential impact on agricultural land for food crops.

On developing alternative and renewable energy resources, the ministers encouraged greater efforts to create a favorable investment climate, cooperation in technology transfer and capacity building. They recognized the urgent need to pursue low-carbon technologies and green economy solutions to mitigate climate change impacts. They identified biofuel sustainability, energy efficiency and energy security as key issues in the ASEAN-EU energy relationship.

Finally, ministers acknowledged the need for closer cooperation in environmental conservation, sustainable development and natural resource management, including sustainable management of forest resources and the areas of biodiversity and trans-boundary environmental pollution control and management. The Ministers also encouraged further co-operation in relation to coral reefs, fisheries, food security, adaptation to climate change and the implementation of the Manado Oceans Declaration. [EU Presidency press release] [Co-Chairs' statement]