You might think that Climate Finance is a dry topic, but it was made captivating by Dr Gary Theseira who is secretly considered as a heartthrob among climate change enthusiasts here in Malaysia!
On the 21st July 2018, the Malaysian Youth Delegation held its 6th Training Series at the Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre of the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. The session was conducted by Dr Gary Theseira, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Environmental Management and Climate Change Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Dr Gary started off the session by saying that there is no single definition of climate finance. This means that there has been no consensus on the term as it’s a diverse concept that needs to be adjusted to different situations around the world.
The closest definition one could find is stated by the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance that defines climate finance as:
“Finance that aims at reducing emissions, and enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases and aims at reducing the vulnerability of, and maintaining and increasing the resilience of, human and ecological systems to negative climate change impacts.”
That’s a mouthful!
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Dr Gary showed us how climate finance played out in real life situations by going through 3 major events that happened in July. He showed us how there’s a common thread weaving through all these events.
Extreme weather in Japan
There was a historic heavy rain in July Heisei 30 that lasted 10 days and covered a stretch of 800 km, which is the length of Peninsular Malaysia. Households were without water and the Japanese residents had to essentially go back to “third” world conditions. This heavy rain was followed by a heatwave.
There was a $429 million in machinery and agricultural damages as a result of this phenomenon. The damages included cars and solar panels, which means that mitigation measures could not be considered. However, as an Annex I country, much of the damages are insured. The situation cannot be adapted so Japan needs to use domestic budgets from the private sector and capital markets.
(Note: When UNFCCC was adopted, countries were classed into 3 basic groups i.e. Annex I countries, Annex II countries, and countries that were not listed in any of both annexes (the so-called “non-Annex I” countries). Annex I includes industrialised countries as well as many states of the former Soviet Union (the Economies in Transition, or EIT). Annex II is a further subset of Annex I: it includes only countries that were members of the OECD at that time. Thus, non-Annex I countries, which are the large majority, mostly correspond to developing countries.)
Status of Turkey under UNFCCC
Turkey is an Annex I country but the Turkish government wishes to be reclassified and removed from being an Annex I country. They claim that they could address climate change issues more effectively as a non-Annex I country, as a top-down approach can be adopted as well. However, no other country is keen to open Annexes for renegotiation.
Dr Gary then compared Turkey to Malaysia and said that we are similar in terms of population number, per capita GDP, religion and currency strength. The major difference is that Malaysia emits twice as much greenhouse gases per capita.
As an Annex I country, Turkey has no obligation to provide financial support, unlike Annex II countries. So if Turkey sheds their Annex I status, this would enable them to access resources that are not available to Annex I countries.
When trying to figure out who’s responsible for what, Dr Gary reminded us to get back to the source i.e. the Convention, specifically Article 4, as it highlights the different roles and commitments of Annex I & II Parties.
B20 of the GCF
The Green Climate Fund held the 20th Meeting of the Board on the 4th of July to discuss financial planning among other agenda. Dr Gary just talked about the main outcomes of the meeting:
- GCF was unable to decide on the funding of 11 proposals valued at $1 billion.
- US owes $2.8 billion and they are undecided on how to replenish this
- GCF executive director Mr Howard Ramsey resigned
It wasn’t clear to me how significant the last event actually is but Dr Gary wanted to show us that all three events point to the relevance and importance of climate finance with competing interests and objectives. Mitigation and adaptation plans may not be able to be mobilised if there isn’t any financial support. Dr Gary believes that climate finance should work on various areas of life and not be treated as isolated cases.
Written by Diyana
Edited by Jasmin
The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) is organizing its 6th Training Series on the 21st of July 2018. The upcoming Training Series will be on Climate Finance. This session will be focusing on the role of climate finance in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Dr. Gary Theseira will be leading the session as our trainer. Dr. Gary is the Deputy Under Secretary of the Environmental Management and the Climate Change Division, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia, pending new structural changes. Previously, he has served as the Senior Research Officer at the Tropical Forest Biodiversity Centre, at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM). Dr. Gary’s expertise lies in climate change policy and sustainable development. He is part of the Ministerial Core Group and the National Climate Change negotiators team (for COP7, COP12-23 and Rio+20), and has coordinated Like-Minded Developing Countries Group, the Group of 77 and China, and the ASEAN Member States in international climate change negotiations. He is also involved in the preparation of National Submissions and Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Global Environment Facility and Green Climate Fund, supervise and monitor the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism, as well as assist in REDD+ readiness and baseline planning and implementation.
Light refreshments will be served after the event. Don’t forget to bring your own utensils in effort to go green!
The event is free and open to the public, so bring your family and friends to learn more about Malaysia’s involvement in UNFCCC! Below are the details of the event:
Date: 21st July 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 9.30 am – 1.30 pm
Trainer: Dr. Gary W. Theseira
Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC)
The University of Nottingham Teaching Centre
Level 2, Chulan Tower
No. 3, Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) is a group of passionate Malaysian individuals who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, such as the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Dedicated to raising awareness of climate policies amongst Malaysians, the youth are mentored and trained to translate technical policies into more relevant and relatable information for the public. MYD holds speaking engagements with various climate organizations to better understand the current landscape of local and international climate policies. In doing so, MYD endeavors to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits.
The Malaysian Youth Delegation presents the fourth installment of our Training Series. Ms. Tina Carmillia, an environmental journalist and producer for BFM radio, will be delivering a talk on how to communicate climate change effectively and persuasively through art and editorial. She will be sharing her experience as a journalist and radio producer on informing the public about climate change. Join us to pick up some tips and pointers on spreading awareness, and to contribute to the discussion!
The event is free of charge and open to the public. Please register for the event in the form below.
- Date: 9th June 2018 (Saturday)
- Time: 9.30 am – 12 pm
- Venue: Hall 1, Graduate Centre, Sunway University
- Speaker: Ms. Tina Carmilia, Journalist and Producer for BFM
- 9:30-10:00am- Registration
- 10:00-11:30am- Training Series
- 11:30am-12:00pm – Q&A
- 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Refreshments
- 1:00pm – End
#MYD Training Series – Training on UNFCCC negotiations and media work with various climate experts, government bodies and civil society leaders. Each session will run for approximately 2 hours and will be available on Facebook for future reference.
As part of the MYD Training Series, Mr. Nithi Nesadurai, President of Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM) and Regional Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA), will deliver a talk on how Civil Society Organization (CSO) play a crucial role in at the UNFCCC level and how observers contribute in the overall power play of the international climate negotiation process.
This event is open to everyone, so do come!
Date: 27th May 2018 (Sunday)
Time: 9.30am – 12pm
Venue: Brixsten Academy, No, 69,71,73 (Mezzanine Floor) Jalan SS22/19, Damansara Jaya, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Speaker: Nithi Nesadurai, President of Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM) and Regional Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA)
- 9:00-9:30am- Registration
- 9:30-11:30am- Training Series
- 11:30am-12:00pm – Q&A
- 12:00pm – End
#MYD Training Series – Training on UNFCCC negotiations and media work with various climate experts, government bodies and civil society leaders. Each sessions will run for approximately 2 hours and will be available on Facebook for future reference.