Power of collective bargaining: Can Asean address green issues effectively?

An aerial handout photo taken and released by the Myanmar Fire Service Department Drone Team shows a flooded area of Bago town after heavy rains in Myanmar on Oct 10, 2023. The South-East Asian region is experiencing more and more extreme weather events due to climate change. Could Asean help its member nations to react more effectively to situations like this? — AFP

I’VE just come back from my first visit to an Asean meeting in Jakarta since before the pandemic. As the second recipient of the Asean prize in 2019 it was something of a homecoming.

Aside from attending a thought-provoking discussion on climate, peace and security, co-hosted by Asean and the United Nations, while I was there I learned that the European Union’s lawmakers had agreed on an update to the bloc’s environmental crime directive, punishing the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction with tougher penalties.

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