Study Session #3 – How Climate-Sensitive are Malaysia’s Laws and Regulations?

Study Session #3 – How Climate-Sensitive are Malaysia’s Laws and Regulations?

The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) organised its third study session this year on 11 July 2020, discussing climate mitigation and adaptation in Malaysia. The session was guided by Evelyn Teh, a Senior Researcher on Climate Change at the Third World Network (TWN). She assists the TWN team in producing climate talk reports for negotiators, think tanks and civil societies at the UNFCCC. She is a core team member in Malaysia’s 2020 NDC update task force, and a working group member on ‘Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk’ for the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP). Evelyn has been trained in environmental policy and impact assessment, urbanisation and social studies.

  

Evelyn Teh Senior Researcher on Climate Change at the Third World Network (TWN), presenting her slides to the Malaysian Youth Delegation audience over Zoom

“We must either prepare for the best case scenario from a more sustainable future, or be prepared to live with the worst case scenario from a business as usual future.”

 

The session was kicked off by stating the importance of drastic measures to reduce GHG emissions which must be achieved within the next 12 years to keep temperatures within 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels. Evelyn noted that legislative measures become integral in restricting, regulating, and facilitating a holistic and climate-centric approach for economic and social development.

 

Evelyn goes on to highlight that It is important to understand how law works to help us connect the dots on why some laws are stuck, why are some laws so old, why are some laws existing but not implemented on the ground. This understanding can help us better tackle and call for implementation of climate change into Malaysian law. To name some important basics mentioned by Evelyn, Policy is not legally binding but can lead to new laws, an Act is a piece of legislation that is a basis for forming a Law and a Law is an implemented Act. Implementation of climate change policies depend on how mainstreamed climate change planning is across various ministries, including state departments and agencies. During the session, various acts and policies were analyzed and critiqued to identify potential areas of improvement. 

 

The Renewable Energy Act 2011 provides the establishment and implementation of a special tariff system to catalyze the generation of renewable energy and to provide for related matters. It was noted that it only identifies electricity as energy. Attention is not focused on recovery of usable heat as an important sustainable energy source for industrial, commercial and residential applications. This causes a missed opportunity to harness other forms of energy which can potentially decrease our GHG emissions.

 

The National Land Public Transport Master Plan was formulated to drive regulatory and industry reform for the transport sector with an aim to increase the public transport modal share for urban areas from 16% in 2011 to 40% in 2030. Currently taking into account every urban area, the public transport model share is not too good, for example in Penang it is only 3% .Despite these plans, Malaysia is still expanding the industry based on non-sustainable models. Last year alone the government spnet RM1.89 billion in fuel subsidies and private cars are affordable (average of 1.1 Million new registrations per year between 2010 – 2019). So imagine 1.1 Million new vehicles on the road every year – to manage this surge, the Malaysian solution was to build more roads, but it only paves way for exacerbating GHG emissions. 

 

Legislation for the agricultural sector in Malaysia is guided by the National Agro Food Policy (2011 – 2020) and the National Commodity Policy (2011 – 2020). Their sole purpose is to increase food production and export of industrial commodities. The concept of a self-sustaining index is non-existent in these policies. There is a dangerous imbalanced focus and investment on cash crops: Palm oil, cocoa, pepper, coffee, tea, various fruits including durian, and coconuts have caused extensive deforestation, monoculture and increased emissions from unsustainable farming practices driven by the need for high production. The policies’ heavy dependence on imported foods and lack of a holistic environmental view when it comes to expanding the sector is a worrying sign for Malaysia’s food security. 

 

The session also mentioned potential flaws in the industrial sector, highlighting the cement industry, construction and urban planning, waste management and the environmental quality assessments. In general, environmental accountability, emission standards and control is poorly regulated. Evelyn shared that the  Environmental Impact Assessment, managed by the Department of Environment or Environmental Quality Act, does not consider the carbon footprint and emissions impact of any assessed project. There are no provisions in the EQA or the EIA Guidelines where it makes a distinctive requirement for projects to mitigate its carbon footprint or place any emphasis on projects to have climate adaptive features. Furthermore, Methane is not considered as an air pollutant alongside nitrous oxides and sulphur oxides.

 

Evelyn ended the session by noting that addressing climate change is a highly complex, multifaceted, challenging attempt to undo business as usual but it is necessary. We must either prepare for the best case scenario from a more sustainable future, or be prepared to live with the worst case scenario from a business as usual future.

 

Some of the members from The Malaysian Youth Delegation and Evelyn Teh during the 3rd Study Session over Zoom.

Some of the members from The Malaysian Youth Delegation and Evelyn Teh during the 3rd Study Session over Zoom.

Written by: Janak Preet Kaur

 

Training Series #7: Climate Action & Lobbying Policy

Training Series #7: Climate Action & Lobbying Policy

Malaysian Youth Delegation proudly presents our LAST public Training Series #7: Climate Action & Lobbying Policy.

We will discuss communication of climate change through environmental activism, give audiences insights on the history of climate action, and discus how youth agenda is pushed in a policy-based form. The public may be given insights on how they can partake in taking action into their own hands and lobby for policies that they want to see.

Date: 29th September 2019 (Sunday)
Time:
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Venue:
WORQ KL Gateway (Bangsar South, near KL Gateway-Universiti LRT)

Join us for an afternoon of insightful conversations with representatives from KUASA, MYD, and a Climate Advocate! Feel free to share this message to anyone who might be interested.

Directions to Worq

Climate Finance: A Major Player of Climate Change

Climate Finance: A Major Player of Climate Change

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:

  1. GCF was unable to decide on the funding of 11 proposals valued at $1 billion.
  2. US owes $2.8 billion and they are undecided on how to replenish this
  3. 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

#MYD2018 Training Series: Climate Finance: Mitigation and Adaptation

#MYD2018 Training Series: Climate Finance: Mitigation and Adaptation

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!

Details

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

Venue:

Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC)

The University of Nottingham Teaching Centre

Level 2, Chulan Tower

No. 3, Jalan Conlay

50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

https://www.nottingham.edu.my/AboutUs/Datesandcampusinformation/Mapsanddirections/KLTC.aspx

Location

Registration

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.

#MYD2018 Training Series: Communicating Climate Change Effectively and Persuasively

#MYD2018 Training Series: Communicating Climate Change Effectively and Persuasively

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.

Details

  • 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

Location

Schedule

  • 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

Registration

#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.

#MYD2018 Training Series: The Role of CSO in Climate Negotiations

#MYD2018 Training Series: The Role of CSO in Climate Negotiations

Details:

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)

Schedule:

  • 9:00-9:30am- Registration
  • 9:30-11:30am- Training Series
  • 11:30am-12:00pm – Q&A
  • 12:00pm – End

Registration

#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.