On 14 July, the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) held its 12th meeting virtually with the participation of more than 101 representatives from 12 ASEAN Member States (ASM) and 23 ASEAN partners and institutions, including the UK, the US, New Zealand, Japan, UNESCAP, UNFCCC, JICA, and GIZ. The working group, established in 2009 as a result of the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment, meet once a year with the aim of overseeing the implementation of relevant action lines in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint and to enhance closer and deeper regional and international cooperation on climate change. An Action Plan on Joint Response to Climate Change was developed in 2012 to provide a more detailed reference for implementing the blueprint.
Vietnam has been actively engaged in AWGCC meetings. Together with delegates from key development partners, representatives of the GIZ “Support to Viet Nam for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (VN-SIPA)” project joined and supported the organization of the meeting.
Participants at the meeting received updates on the implementation of the AWGCC Action Plan. Progress on preparing for the UNFCCC COP 26 and collaboration between the ASEAN and partner countries were also highlighted.
Accordingly, the countries briefed participants on projects and initiatives covering eight core themes of the programme of action for addressing climate change in the region. More than 20 projects and initiatives were presented, some of which are on-going while some are in the pipeline and some are under revision. Some noticeable initiatives were announced, such as an upcoming regional energy outlook for ASEAN and a web-based simulation tool that supports the experimentation of different carbon pricing scenarios, which is due to come online by October.
Regarding collaboration, representatives from partner countries and institutions presented achievements and future plans in partnership with ASEAN, including high-level dialogues and projects and cooperation in sustainable financing, decarbonisation, and climate-smart agriculture.
Also, at a closed session during the meeting, the AMS had the chance to discuss the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change. The Joint Statement is expected to be presented at COP 26. Traditionally, through these statements, the ASEAN Leaders express ASEAN’s common understanding/position and aspirations towards a global solution to the challenge of climate change and their resolve to achieve an ASEAN community resilient to climate change through national and regional actions. The VN-SIPA project provided technical advice to the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change under Vietnam’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020.