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ASEAN to urge for legally binding climate change pact

by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) April 7, 2010
Southeast Asian leaders will call for a legally binding global pact on climate change, according to a draft summit statement seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The statement said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders meeting in Vietnam on Thursday and Friday will also urge rich countries to continue taking the lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

All parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should "work together to secure a legally binding agreement, particularly to limit the increase in average global temperature to below two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level," the draft said.

Developed countries should also "continue taking the lead by making more ambitious commitments and setting out specific and equitable binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the mid-term and long-term."

An 11th-hour climate change deal reached in Copenhagen in December does not legally bind countries to their commitments to cutting carbon dioxide emissions blamed for climate change.

The Copenhagen Accord calls for limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the threshold set by many scientists.

However, critics have complained that the actions are only voluntary and lacking in vital details on how to achieve the goal.

The agreement also commits rich countries to paying out around 30 billion dollars in total over the next three years and sets a potential figure of 100 billion dollars annually by 2020, to help poor nations fight climate change.

In the draft statement, the ASEAN leaders say they will also consider "the possibility of developing an ASEAN action plan to better understand and respond to climate change".

They will continue to exchange views to come up with a common ASEAN position in the next climate change talks in Mexico this year.

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