Greenpeace urges ASEAN Energy Ministers to Lead the Energy Revolution;

Demands a 40 % renewable energy target by 2020

Feature story - August 6, 2008
Greenpeace today urged the ASEAN Energy Ministers to demonstrate leadership and political will to commit to a future that is powered by clean renewable energy instead of trapping its member countries in the dirty, dangerous and expensive cycle of fossil fuel and nuclear technologies, at a media briefing to coincide with the ongoing ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Bangkok.

Greenpeace marched from Bangkok Art Gallery to Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragon, Central World toward Intercontinental Hotel which is the venue of ASEAN Ministry Energy Meeting (AMEM2008) and send the message 'DON'T NUKE ASEAN' to public as well as call on public to petition ASEAN to Lead the Energy Revolution.

Spurred by recent massive increases in the price of oil and coal, the issue of energy security is high on the ASEAN agenda. However, instead of developing the region's plentiful indigenous renewable energy resources, the Energy Ministers of ASEAN countries are planning to expand its share of coal and adopt nuclear technologies.

"ASEAN must learn from history and work towards stabilizing its carbon dioxide emissions by choosing renewable energy and enhancing energy efficiency while at the same time increasing energy consumption through economic growth. Southeast Asia must not follow a path that would further increase its greenhouse gas emissions, "said Tara Buakamsri,  

Campaign Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Currently, the countries of Southeast Asia collectively rank third highest in carbon dioxide emissions among developing countries, after China and India. The future of renewable energy development in the region will strongly depend on political choices by both individual governments and ASEAN. Being home to some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts, ASEAN must establish the right climate and energy policies. Decisions made in the next few years, will continue to have an impact until 2050.

"Last year, Greenpeace welcomed the inclusion of climate change and energy as key issues under Singapore's chairmanship of the ASEAN. We also welcomed the reiteration of ASEAN's aspiration to increase the share of renewable energy in power generation in the region to 10% by 2010. Unfortunately, these declarations have only remained on paper. ASEAN has failed to translate these targets in to real renewable energy development on the ground, and now time unfortunately is running out, " added Jasper Inventor, Greenpeace International climate and energy campaigner.

"To make things worse some ASEAN members like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have been swayed by the false promise of the nuclear industry and are now endangering their citizens by exposing them to nuclear technology in a misguided attempt to secure energy security and tackle climate change. These countries are deliberately ignoring the fact that  

construction of new nuclear power plants takes an average of ten years before completion, while construction costs continue to soar, besides there is no safe solution available for disposal of nuclear waste," said Tessa de Ryck, regional nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace is calling upon ASEAN Governments to exercise leadership and set binding renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, and explore possible various CO2 emission reduction pathways. Specifically, ASEAN must:

• Fulfil its regional target of getting 10% from renewable energy by 2010.

• Set a 40% renewable energy target by 2020

• Enact support mechanisms (i.e. feed in tariffs, net metering options,

green energy) to secure and accelerate renewable energy uptake including

guaranteed priority access to the grid for renewable generators;

• Implement strict energy efficiency standards for appliances, lighting,

buildings and vehicles;

• Put a moratorium on the construction of new coal-fired power plants;

• Abandon the myth of clean coal and nuclear as solutions to climate change!

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