The heads of government from 16 nations in East Asia issued the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment at the end of their summit, yet they failed to explain how they would improve efficiency in energy utilisation.
However, they did promise to work toward achieving a significant reduction in energy usage.
The original proposal in the declaration cited that the group was committed to improving the goal of energy efficiency by 25 per cent in 2020, but India strongly opposed the idea and lobbied heavily to have it removed.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his capacity as chairman, told a press conference at the end of the summit that the numerical target was already set in the declaration of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, of which most of the East Asia countries are members.
"It is a declaration of intent, not a treaty. It's not what we do to restrict ourselves, or to make a hard binding restriction to bind ourselves," he said.
The declaration said members should implement measures recommended by the East Asia Summit energy ministers including the formulation of voluntary energy efficiency goals by 2029.
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said the meeting of the East Asia Summit was really about exchanging ideas on how to save energy and explore the possibilities of both renewable and alternative sources of energy.
The group would support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), he added.
Supalak G Khundee
Jeerawat Na Thalang