Region reaffirms commitment to Paris Agreement
Climate Action Package launched to develop region’s capacity in climate action
1. Ministers and representatives from the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) – ASEAN, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) – met in Singapore on 10 July 2018 to attend the SAMCA and E-SAMCA. The meetings were an initiative by Singapore, as the 2018 ASEAN Chair, to provide ASEAN and the Plus Three countries a platform to: (a) engage one another on their climate action plans in a regional “Talanoa” dialogue setting; (b) reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement; and (c) galvanise regional action to address climate change.
2. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said: “As one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, it is crucial that ASEAN remains committed to taking action. SAMCA and E-SAMCA provided a good platform for countries in the region to exchange views, learn from one another and reaffirm the region’s commitment to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. I look forward to greater cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries on climate action.”
3. To support the region’s climate action efforts, Minister Masagos announced that Singapore would launch a Climate Action Package (CAP), which aims to develop capacity in ASEAN in key areas such as disaster risk reduction, climate science, climate finance, flood management, and long-term mitigation and adaptation strategies, through programmes and courses.
4. Singapore will also continue to do its part to enhance the region’s resilience to climate risks through the following initiatives:
(i) Singapore is supporting the establishment of the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), which will be set up in Singapore in 2019. As ASEAN’s first regional catastrophe risk pool, the Facility will provide immediate liquidity to cover emergency response costs in the aftermath of catastrophes. SEADRIF would thus play a significant role in strengthening the region’s economic resilience to disaster risks and mitigate the adverse economic impacts of climate change.
(ii) Singapore is also supporting efforts to improve the region’s meteorological capabilities to better plan for climate change. The Meteorological Service Singapore, as host of the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), will be investing S$5 million in a 5-year regional capability development programme, which will begin this year. The programme aims to benefit ASEAN countries through the sharing of technical knowledge and skills in weather and climate prediction, to help the region better formulate climate change adaption planning.
5. In addition to the ASEAN Plus Three, the meeting was attended by Ms Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the ASEAN Secretary-General, Mr Michal Kurtyka, Poland’s Secretary of State for the Environment and Conference of Parties (COP)-24 President-Designate, and Mr Luke Daunivalu, the Fijian COP-23 Presidency’s Representative and Chief Negotiator for Climate Change.
6. Delegates from ASEAN Plus Three also called on Mr Teo Chee Hean, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change. They discussed the region’s climate change priorities and how the region can strengthen its cooperation on climate change.
7. Singapore, as 2018 ASEAN Chair and convenor of the meetings, will submit a summary of the discussions at the SAMCA and E-SAMCA to the UNFCCC as input to the Talanoa Dialogue.