The Malaysian Youth Delegation hosted the annual Retreat at EPIC Collective over the weekend of the 28th and 29th April 2018. New members were asked to reflect the activities they took part in, what they learned along the way, and what they took away from the experience. Here’s what our new members had to say:

Sharun Beream Nasir

By Sharun Beream Nasir

The  retreat  event began  with some introduction  on what the Malaysian Youth   Delegation stands and strives  for. Then, we were filled in with  more information on the other organisations  that were striving for the similar aim as well  such as YOUNGO and CAN. Through this session  I  was  exposed  to the efforts that  were being  put in order  to  achieve  climate justice  globally and especially through  the voice of youths.  

Moving  on, we had  a talk by a  WWF representative   who briefed us on the  current state of Malaysia’s  environmental policies and shared  her experience when she attended the  UNFCCC conference. The talk was an insightful  session for me, as I learned a lot of information  and had the opportunity to understand the perspectives  of different stakeholders regarding the climate issues and  negotiations. Throughout the talk, some of the key issues that act as barriers  in achieving the solution to mitigate climate change were discussed. The barriers include  having too many policies, but less framework that results into a less effective implementation  of those policies. Other than that, setting the wrong parameters such as the GDP to measure the  progress of climate change mitigation in a country is of yet another flaw.

After  that, we had a talk from a representative of the CETDEM company.  The talk introduced efforts  that are being taken in order  to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions  in Malaysia by providing the required technology  to the TENAGA Berhad company. Last but not least,  the day was ended with a great documentary that spurred  the spirit in us to make this Malaysian Youth Delegation journey   more meaningful and successful.

On  the next  day, we had  a long talk on  the history of UNFCCC  where I gained new knowledge  on the happenings at a global  scale when it comes to negotiations  between countries. Here we were introduced  to the role of global north and global south  countries and the progress of climate policies that  were either ratified or have failed to be ratified. After  that, we had several talks on the experiences of the MYD youth  delegators at the last UNFCCC conference. Through the talk I learnt of  the hardships and endurance that many individuals had to go through in making  the conference a beneficial and productive meeting in the end.

Till  this date,  we still do not have a  strong commitment to combat  climate change be it at global  or regional scale although the threshold  of not exceeding a further 1.5°C of global  warming is now approaching us at an alarming  state. According to what I have learned, climate  change is believed to be a wicked problem as the  issue is acknowledged by almost everyone, but the response  toward it being rather dim because it is not considered to be  as alarming as other natural disasters such as tsunamis or hurricanes.  The ‘short-­sightedness’ in people to foresee this now approaching calamity  is to be blamed on our society. Regardless of all the available information that keep reminding the human nation to act towards the combat against climate change,  many of us are unfortunately, choosing to stay heedless.

Since the  anthropogenic  activities in 1800s,  we are now left with  a tight carbon budget that  will certainly not sustain for  any longer with the current greenhouse  gas emission that we are putting out. However, by looking at the efforts being put in by nowadays  youth by taking part in major conferences such as the UNFCCC, it has really proved to me that we are determined  to make a change by taking part in the climate justice journey.