ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff, in his latest opinion piece, wrote that Southeast Asian countries can better address climate change issues through regional cooperation.
The region, which consists of archipelagos like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as mainland countries such as Thailand and Viet Nam, are recently enjoying economic progress that are being threatened by climate change and subsequent rise in poverty.
Reduce Deforestation, Improve Carbon Capture
“Two of the biggest opportunities (in Southeast Asia) are to reduce deforestation and to ramp up the use of better technologies, especially carbon capture,” wrote the ADB official.
He noted that Indonesia is already among the world’s biggest carbon emitters, but last year’s forest fires further increased its daily average emissions in September and October to 10 times higher than normal.
“Asian countries must also step up efforts to employ technology, such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and energy efficiency technologies that improve and reduce power use,” Groff said.
Seeing that addressing these two problems require huge amounts of investments, the ADB Vice-President said that this is the reason why regional cooperation is very important.
“Regional cooperation holds great promise for tackling the problem of deforestation. Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to establish the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries, which will harmonize standards and promote environmentally sustainable production practices. This is important as together the two countries account for 85% of the world palm oil market, one of the key causes of deforestation in Southeast Asia,” he wrote.
He added that ASEAN countries can work together to reduce carbon emissions by establishing a regional carbon trading arrangement.
“If countries across the region were to form a regional emissions pool and trading scheme (ETS), ADB estimates that most countries could avoid the much higher cost of reducing domestic emissions by their own efforts,” wrote Groff.
Read more about Groff’s article here>>