Greenpeace, Oxfam call on leaders to stop ASEAN sinking ahead of Bali Summit

Press release - November 16, 2011
ASEAN leaders should work together to address the problem of climate change, NGO group A-FAB (ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Global Climate Deal) warned today. To dramatize the problem, activists created a tableau of sinking hands in Manila Bay to portray floods brought about by extreme weather conditions attributed to climate change and the vulnerability of people in Southeast Asia to climate impacts.

A-FAB, a coalition of Greenpeace and Oxfam, staged the sea of sinking hands tableau as leaders of the 10 countries belonging to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Bali on November 17-19, 2011 for the 19th ASEAN Summit.

“Extreme cases of flooding in Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos highlight the urgency and need for ASEAN to contribute to global and long term solutions to address climate change,” says Shalimar Vitan, Oxfam’s East Asia Campaigns Coordinator.


“The ASEAN Summit is the perfect opportunity for leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries to give their respective climate change negotiators the mandate to find and work together as ASEAN on common positions in the UNFCCC negotiations in Durban this December,” adds Atty. Zelda Soriano, Greenpeace’s policy advisor in Southeast Asia.

A-FAB believes that the ASEAN response to climate change, projected to severely impact Southeast Asia, has been lacking and there is no ASEAN unity in the UN climate talks. Representatives from 194 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, from November 28 to December 9, to negotiate on a global climate deal. The two most important and contentious aspects of the coming negotiations relate to developed countries’ commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a legally binding agreement, and to mobilize resources to fund climate change programs and projects in developing countries.

It is estimated that, in order to have a likely and cost-effective chance of keeping global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius or below in the 21st Century, global emissions will need to have peaked within the next 10 years and be around 44 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020. Accordingly, current emissions reduction pledges leave a gap of around 5 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent that needs to be bridged over the coming decade. “In the interest of our region, ASEAN must contribute its voice in emphasizing the need to raise the ambition of developed countries in Durban,” says Soriano.

Adds Vitan: “ASEAN member countries must cooperate in pushing for a clear decision on where the money for climate funds will come from. This decision should include a roadmap for scaling up climate finance for 2013-2020 as well as a concrete work program for 2012 to determine where to source long-term climate finance. It should also provide for an initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund. The decision must also lay down the groundwork and principles on possible supplementary sources of climate funds, particularly those for setting a carbon price on international shipping.”


For more information:

Zelda DT Soriano, Political Advisor, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63 917 594 9424

Shalimar Vitan, East Asia Coordinator, Oxfam, +63 917 862 6314