[14 March 2015, Monday] we, (Emily, Thomas and Jolene) from Malaysia Youth Delegation (MYD) members are grateful and thrilled to be invited to share our Paris COP21 experience in Sustainability Research Network(SRN) Annual Seminar at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC). The event commenced at 10am and ends at 1pm with more than 50 attendees from UNMC. Other than us, this event was also graced by other featured speakers including Dr. Gary William Theseira, the Deputy Undersecretary of Environment Management and Climate Change Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; as well as Alizan Mahadi, fellow of Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia (ISIS).













As the first speaker of the event, we presented “Youth on COP21” comprising 3 main components covering a lecture-based introduction about Conference of Parties (COP) as a whole and its negotiation processes, a youth-centric topic on our involvement (MYD) and youth participation in COP21; and also our perspective on the Paris Agreement and how it will take effects in the coming years – pre-2020 and post-2020.

Prior to Dr. Gary’s presentation, Dr Gary applauded and thanked MYD presence and supports to Malaysian National Delegation Team in COP21, saying it was  “extremely refreshing to have us along”. In COP21, there is always a shortage of manpower for Malaysian team due to its fully-packed meetings that occurred at the same time and consistently MYD team fill in the gaps attending various meetings and discussions across different meeting rooms, plenaries and halls. It is definitely a hectic pace in COP21! Dr. Gary also mentioned the MYD presence (youth) has given the Malaysian team a strong sense of motivation and focus to fight for the future and for us, the future generation. This is their 4th year of working toward common goals with other parties of UNFCCC to combat climate change.

These short yet meaningful acknowledgements coming from a national negotiator are definitely one of the most rewarding moments for MYD 2015 team. Well done, Team!

Afterward, Dr. Gary further elaborated our presentation to Post-COP21 context – on how to translate Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) to National Determined Contributions (NDCs) by optimising the local, regional and international opportunities. His sharing has given some great insights of how Malaysia will adopt Paris Agreement and mobilize change. For instance, Malaysia INDCs highlighted Malaysia’s intention “to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005. This consist of 35% on an unconditional basis and a further 10% is condition upon receipt of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building from developed countries.” In addition, he also shared some research areas where government-universities should collaborate including topics such as clean technology developments, environmental conservation, climate change and environmental and climate policies.

On the other hand, Alizan shared with the crowd of how Sustainable Development (SDG) Goals fit the post-COP21 era. The truth is, combating climate change is just a tiny part of SDGs. In his sharing, he encourages everyone to look broader at how a nation could achieve sustainable economic development via considering other factors including poverty eradication, gender equality, good health and wellbeing, zero hunger and many more.

Panel discussion

Thomas voicing out his opinion during panel discussion

During the Q&A session, one of the students asked the speakers “if there is one law you can add, what would it be?” Alizan professed politely that “we should start focusing on the implementation of the existing policies instead of only adding new policies.” Based on his presentation, indeed Malaysia has many existing policies (covering water, land and social..?) but the inefficiency of top-down approaches and the huge gap between the government, public and relevant stakeholders are still taking place and may delay Malaysia achieving its sustainable status.


Feedback on our presentation from the crowd

To date, this is our first official COP21 sharing session and also our first presentation that ran 45-minutes long. We felt the pressure comparing ourselves to the other two “pro” speakers and in order to spice up our presentation, we spent quite some time drafting and practicing the contents together. We are the first speaker…!

It is to our surprise that our session gained so much positive feedbacks from the crowd where one of the audience (hint: he is a lecturer) expresses his gratitude on our excellent presentation! We were complimented for our comprehensible presentation that has provided him a clearer picture on COP21 and its processes. Kudos, our efforts paid off!

Thank you SRN for organizing another successful seminar!