ASEAN-US First Leaders’ Meeting Addresses Climate Change and Energy

Asean15 November 2009: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US held their first Leaders' Meeting on 15 November 2009, in Singapore, addressing climate change and energy, among other issues. The meeting was co-chaired by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, in his capacity as Chair of ASEAN, and US President Barack Obama.

In the resulting joint declaration, the Leaders agree to work closely to ensure that the agreed outcome in Copenhagen incorporates long-term cooperative actions to address climate change. Recognizing the critical importance of adaptation, they agree to strengthen collaboration in research on climate impacts and in the development and implementation of appropriate policies and measures.

The ASEAN and US Leaders also stress that access to diverse, reliable, affordable and clean energy is critical for sustainable economic growth, and agree that accelerated deployment of clean energy technology and energy efficiency measures would diversify energy supplies and strengthen their energy security. According to the joint statement, the US proposed that the US Secretary of Energy and the ASEAN Energy Ministers meet in 2010 to explore cooperation in renewable and alternative energy, such as hydropower and biofuels. The second ASEAN-U.S. Leaders' Meeting is also scheduled for 2010. [ASEAN Press Release][Joint Statement]