Impact of climate change on ASEAN international affairs: Risk and opportunity multiplier

Impact of climate change on ASEAN international affairs: Risk and opportunity multiplier

This study examines the implications of climate change for international affairs in Southeast Asia and for ASEAN as a multilateral organization. Climate change and efforts to mitigate climate change give rise to major risks as well as opportunities in international affairs. It is therefore in the interest of all countries to be aware of the risks and prepare for them, and the overarching purpose of this study is to support ASEAN and its member states in this area.

Given Southeast Asia’s complex geography—with numerous archipelagoes, long coastlines, intricate borders, and great-power neighbors—climate change is especially likely to affect interstate relations in the region.Climate change may impact on international affairs among the ASEAN countries at several levels. Firstly, changing climatic conditions may affect interstate relations through humanitarian crises, migration, and/or the need for greater imports of vital goods. Secondly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires international coordination and cooperation. Thirdly, the global energy transition driven by climate policy may lead to an altered geopolitical situation in the world, including ASEAN.

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