The 3rd ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meeting took place on 24 to 26 April 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The process started by a preparatory meeting at senior official level in Jakarta on 6 to 7 March 2007 (hosted by Indonesia). The second preparatory meeting at senior official level took place in Copenhagen on 23 April 2007.

On April 25 2007 in Copenhagen , the 38 countries participating in the 3rd ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meeting adopted a Declaration text, which clearly states the agreement between Asia and Europe in supporting that progress should be made in order to promote an ambitious post2012 climate change agreement. Furthermore, the ASEM countries underlined the need to ensure a substantial process to be concluded as early as possible to avoid a gap between the first and the second commitment period. This increases the possibilities for a good result at the UN Climate Conference to be held in Copenhagen in 2009. Furthermore, the European and Asian countries agreed that decoupling of economic growth from emissions and energy consumption is not only necessary but certainly also a possibility.

“I am very pleased that it has been possible for us to agree upon such an ambitious Declaration, which can contribute to the future international climate process. The result of this meeting shows that there is willingness between the two continents to work closely together when it comes to the common challenges of combating climate change. However, we have still important ground to be covered,” says Minister of the Environment Ms Connie Hedegaard.

In connection with the deliberations taking place during the last couple of days Denmark has undertaken contacts with Indonesia and Poland , who are Presidents of the UN climate summits taking place in 2007 and 2008. By pooling the efforts in a so-called Troika, the three countries try to create considerable progress in the international climate change negotiations leading up to the important conference in Copenhagen, 2009.

“We know it will be very difficult to reach agreement on a new climate change agreement, which can take over in 2012. Therefore it is important that all three countries aim for a shared vision and look to the road to Copenhagen as a coherent process. Luckily, the ASEM meeting has shown very clearly that also the Asian countries have a growing understanding of the urgency. Climate change already has huge costs in Asia . Therefore their interest in finding a solution is only sharpened. And it’s a strong signal that the EU and Asia agree that there’s a need for considerable progress in relation to a new climate change agreement,” says Connie Hedegaard.