World / Asia-Pacific

ASEAN leaders pledge to announce national targets before key climate talks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-13 13:49

NAY PYI TAW - Leaders from Southeast Asian nations have confirmed their determination to unveil respective national targets for mitigation efforts "well in advance of" a key global climate change meeting scheduled for December next year, according to a joint statement adopted at a regional summit here.

Those who are ready are also encouraged to put forward their " intended nationally determined contributions" by the first quarter next year, the leaders said Wednesday at the 25th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Myanmar capital.

The ASEAN leaders also urged developed countries to continue to demonstrate leadership and come forward early with ambitious emission reduction targets by March 2015, and help the developing countries in climate change efforts.

"Climate change is already having significant impacts, causing major loss and damage throughout the ASEAN region, and disproportionately affecting developing countries," they said, citing the Cyclone Nargis hitting Myanmar in 2008 and the Typhoon Haiyan lashing the Philippines last year.

The ASEAN climate declaration came on the same day as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised pledges made by China and the United States to limit greenhouse gases and called on the rest of the world to follow suit. Ban was also in Nay Pyi Taw for an ASEAN-UN summit.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama promised to take action to limit greenhouse gases. China set a target for its emission to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible, and for the share of non-fossil fuel energy to rise to about 20 percent by 2030.

The United States set a new target to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping gases by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. That's a sharp increase from Obama's first administration, when he pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

The new commitments are expected to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris next year.

At the summit, the 10 ASEAN leaders also reviewed progress made ahead of the target of realizing an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015, and adopted a declaration on the ASEAN Community's post-2015 vision.

They are determined to "shape a bold and forward-looking future for ASEAN which will strengthen the ASEAN Community and enable the realization of a politically-cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible, and a truly people-oriented, people-centered and rules-based ASEAN," the statement said.

The summit also adopted a declaration on the ASEAN Secretariat, which is aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of ASEAN and maintaining the centrality of ASEAN in an evolving regional architecture.

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