Climate change implications of the ASEAN integration

(Eagle News Service) — Even the upcoming ASEAN integration has climate change implications since increased economic activity, including the transport of goods and services across and from the ASEAN region, will lead to increasing carbon footprints, according to the president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM).

PRRM president Isagani Serrano, who guested in NET 25’s ASEAN in Focus on Nov. 19,  is also a noted environmental advocate.  He is a co-convenor  of Social Watch-Philippines, Philippine Greens, Earth Day Network Philippines. He is also among the founders of coalitions, like the Congress For A People’s Agrarian Reform, Freedom From Debt Coalition, Green Forum Philippines, Convergence For Community-Centered Area Development, Conference Against Poverty.

“If you have a free movement of goods and services, and you’re talking ASEAN 2015 as a trading system, the longer a good or service travels the more carbon footprint it has,” said Serrano, who is also a noted advocate of the environmental movement, when he guested in NET 25’s program ASEAN in Focus on Nov. 19.

“So unless every movement is powered by renewable energy then –that’s carbon neutral basically — you’re not producing as much CO2 as when you are fossil intensive,” Serrano said.

Serrano warned that ASEAN member nation, which previously had been ranked as under-emitters of carbon, might later on increase its carbon emissions because of increased industrial, transportation and other economic activities that ASEAN integration entails.  This is if ASEAN as a whole would not make any effort to curb carbon emissions of its member-nations.

“Since asean member countries are committed to curbing emissions in this region, we want to see that plan exactly. How is it going to happen? Although ASEAN as a whole and individually its whole member countries are under-emitters we have no obligation under the climate convention to do mitigation but it’s our own responsibilty and it’s our own look-up to make sure that they are not adding up to the problem of the destabilization of the climate system globally,” he told NET 25’s ASEAN in Focus.

He urged ASEAN leaders, including its policy-makers, to be conscientious about not contributing to the climate change problem by integrating into the ASEAN policies the move to have the right energy mix of renewable energy.

“Now what we would we proposing for the ASEAN member countries is to come up with an increasing mix in the energy system shift to a more sustainable energy system,” he said.  (Eagle News Service)



This series and the program ASEAN IN FOCUS of NET 25 (Monday  to Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., with replays 11:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.) is part of Eagle Broadcasting’s advocacy to promote awareness about the ASEAN region and the 2015 ASEAN integration.   ASEAN in Focus features news and features about the ASEAN region and the ASEAN integration process, and includes interviews of noted resource persons who share their views about the ASEAN integration process.

ASEAN in Focus is hosted by Alma Angeles, Neah Mangawang and Rachel Martin.  Dr. Carlos Tabunda Jr., an executive fellow of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), is the program’s resident ASEAN resource person.