New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week called for an end to the use of fossil fuels at the APEC CEO’s Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. She is now in Manila, Philippines, for the opening of the 31st ASEAN Summit today.
“Something in the order of USD500 billion is used to subsidize the cost of fossil fuel. The practice of artificially keeping fossil fuels low must end. We must phase (fossils fuels) out. We must leave a legacy we must be proud of,” she said.
Ardern, who was elected prime minister in August 2017 is the world’s youngest female head of government, having taken office at age 37.
The discussions at the APEC CEO Summit centered around the role of government and private sector in the climate change mitigation efforts.
Her comments drew widespread applause from APEC delegates from all over the region.
New Zealand has long been considered a leader in various reforms. At the summit, Ardern highlighted New Zealand’s efforts in setting up a Climate Commission and emissions reduction programs.
“New Zealand aims to have 100% fuel sustainability by 2035,” she said.
Meanwhile at the ASEAN summit, ASEAN leaders will take stock of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and discuss how to take ASEAN forward. The Community Vision is a roadmap that outlines how members will collectively achieve political security, economic cooperation and socio-cultural cohesion by working together.