Prime Minister Prayut addressing the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. – Photo from Government House

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday said the 10 countries of ASEAN are committed to working with the international community to tackle the challenge of climate change.

Addressing the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, Prayut said ASEAN is highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change since most of the population lives along low-lying coasts and river plains.

The increased impacts of climate change have increasingly threatened the region’s economic and social progress. In this regard, he said ASEAN has strived to strengthen resilience by implementing both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and is committed to be actively involved in global climate action at various levels.

Speaking in his capacity as chairman of ASEAN, Prayut said at the global level, ASEAN strongly supports efforts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the regional level, ASEAN has been implementing strategic measures under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 in order to move towards “Sustainable Climate” and to realize a resilient community, he said.

He listed as ASEAN’s key targets on energy transition a reduction of energy intensity by more than 21.9% compared to 2005 levels, ahead of its 2020 target.  ASEAN will continue to work towards the long-term target to reduce energy intensity by 30% by 2025 and have also set a target to increase the component of renewable energy mix by 23% by 2025, he said.

On land transport, he said ASEAN aims to reduce the average fuel consumption of new light-duty vehicles sold in ASEAN by 26% between 2015 and 2025. ASEAN will also introduce and strengthen fiscal policy measures based on fuel economy or on CO2 emissions at national level; and promote the adoption of national fuel consumption standards for light-duty vehicles, striving towards a regional standard in the long term.

The Thai prime pinister stressed that no one country can fight climate change alone, therefore partnership is vital. “ASEAN stands ready to advance partnership with the global community on climate action to ensure sustainability for present and future generations,” he said.

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