According to the Global Climate Risk Index, four of the world’s ten countries most affected by climate change are located in Southeast Asia: Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. This study examines the implications of climate change and climate policy for international affairs in Southeast Asia and for ASEAN as a multilateral organization.
Climate change can have an impact on international affairs at several levels. Firstly, changing climatic conditions such as sea-level rise, droughts, floods, and storms can affect relations between states through humanitarian crises, migration, greater dependency on imports of vital goods, and even conflict. Secondly, climate change is a global problem that cannot be dealt with by any country on its own; reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires international coordination and cooperation. Thirdly, the energy transition required for climate mitigation may lead to an altered geopolitical situation, with new risks as well as advantages. Climate change is therefore both a risk- and an opportunity-multiplier in international relations: it may aggravate existing interstate tensions, or catalyze collaboration across international boundaries. The overarching purpose of this study is to promote and protect the interests of the ASEAN member states, both as individual countries and collectively.
[This description was extracted from the introduction of the publication]