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NEWS UPDATES 23 July 2010

Asean urged to focus on climate change

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Asean should prioritise finding effective ways to realise energy security and deal with climate change challenges, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday, as reported by Viet Nam News.

Opening the 28th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Da Lat City, Dung emphasized that this was a pivotal year for the regional bloc as it was being considered a growth engine in the aftermath of the global crisis.

As signs of initial recovery had been seen in the regional and global economies, the situation presented both opportunities and challenges for ASEAN, he said.

"We should strive harder so that ASEAN energy development cooperation initiatives and programmes can be realised," the PM said.

He said the meeting should focus on increasing co-operation to ensure energy security for ASEAN in the context of rising consumption to meet the demands of recovery and development, and to cope with climate change impacts.

Dung also called for wide-ranging co-operation in researching and developing energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The PM suggested that ASEAN step up research efforts and expedites projects like the regional power grid and the trans-ASEAN gas pipeline. Member nations should also implement petroleum security agreements to ensure mutual support for electricity, oil and gas among members, especially in emergencies, he said.

"The region should promote co-operation in trade and investment in the fields of clean coal technology transfer and application among member nations and with partners to meet the growing demand for coal," he added.

Dung also called for greater co-operation in the use of renewable energy sources so that they account for at least 15 per cent of total energy consumption by 2015.

"We need stronger commitment to providing financial support, promoting technology transfer and coming up with new, more effective mechanisms for building projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)," he said.

Dung said the plans being developed within and among ASEAN nations as well as between Asean and its partner countries and the international community aimed to develop low-carbon economies. "Dialogue and cooperation between businesses and governments to ensure realisation of the ASEAN Action Plan of Energy Co-operation (AAPEC)'s objectives are crucially important," he said. Viet Nam took over as chair of the 28th AMEM for a year, replacing Myanmar.

"This is a very important period for implementing AAPEC, which was approved last year in Myanmar," said Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, as he opened a working session at the meeting.

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