Bangkok, 31 August 2012 - Climate change will cripple the ASEAN goal of economic integration by 2015. The warning was issued today by ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Climate Deal (A-FAB), a regional coalition led by Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Oxfam, during a press conference at the UN climate change talks in Bangkok.

A-FAB is calling on leaders of Southeast Asian nations to champion the fight to save the climate and infuse much-needed urgency into the ongoing talks. Civil society leaders from Myanmar, as well as the official representative of human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi, and other ASEAN country climate negotiators, joined the media briefing to express solidarity and call for solutions to the region’s common challenge.

"Only a few days ago, heavy monsoon rains in my country submerged vast swathes of crop lands and forced tens of thousands of our people to seek shelter in emergency camps,” said Kyaw Thiha, member of Parliament representing Aung Sang Suu Kyi.

“I understand this is what climate change looks like. I join the people of vulnerable nations similar to my country in calling on negotiators attending this last round of climate change talks before the conference of parties in Qatar, to agree on decisive actions to address our common climate misfortune," he added.

"As with the rest of Southeast Asia, climate change has disrupted monsoon patterns in Myanmar. I believe that climate change will hinder the government’s goal of poverty alleviation and as such should be urgently addressed," said Dr Tun Lwin, climate expert in Myanmar, former delegate to the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Assistance (SBSTA), and current CEO of Myanmar Climate Change Watch.

A-FAB believes climate change is a critical challenge for Southeast Asia, particularly because the region does not have the capacity to cope with its escalating effects. Its impacts also have far reaching social and economic consequences, affecting health, agriculture, security and economy, aside from creating further suffering on the region’s poor. Climate change is set to exacerbate the economic disparity between and within nations, cited as an existing barrier to integration.

For the complete article, please see Oxfam.

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