Are Southeast Asian countries living up to their climate pledges?

Southeast Asia is one of the places most permanently at risk from global climate change. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the region faces rising sea levels, heat waves, droughts, and increasingly destructive storms. Up to 96 percent of the ASEAN region is expected to experience drought, and 64 percent will experience severe drought, yet sea levels will continue to rise in the future, affecting the population, economy, and infrastructure of coastal countries.
Southeast Asian countries consider storms and floods to be significant consequences of climate change.

The majority of countries in the region have committed to increasing greenhouse gas emission reductions under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, with the primary goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Although legislation has been established to limit climate change, the road to the future remains long and winding.

Net Zero targets

Vietnam is still attempting to expand renewable energy sources and reduce its reliance on coal in order to mitigate climate change.

Southeast Asian countries are all committed to Net Zero to various degrees, depending on their internal circumstances. Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s eighth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has set a Net Zero objective for 2060; while Thailand has committed to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and has proposed to attain carbon neutrality by 2065-2070. Both Vietnam and Singapore have not declared a Net Zero target, but Vietnam is continuing to concentrate on expanding renewable energy sources and reducing coal consumption to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Nonetheless, the researchers assert that Southeast Asian countries must make greater efforts to coordinate their actions by establishing more specific programs and strategies for achieving the Net Zero goal.

“According to the Climate Action Tracker research team, Indonesia’s and Vietnam’s overall update of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) is incomplete, and Singapore’s likewise has numerous problems. It is evident that these countries must establish even more aggressive targets to restrict global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius,” said Ms. Melinda Martinus, a research expert at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Source: Taiwan News