MYD’s Position Statement on Rebranding of MEWA

This position statement was written to persuade the Ministry of Environment and Water to consider adopting the term ‘climate change’ in its rebranding process.

On the 3rd of April, Malaysiakini published an article stating that the Ministry of Environment and Water (MEWA) is still undergoing a rebranding process. The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) presents this statement to appeal to the Ministry to add the term ‘climate change’ in addition to the term ‘environment’ in the Ministry’s new name.

The term ‘environment’ encompasses issues within the spectrum of the natural world which includes land, water, forestry, waste management, air quality, pollution and others. Departing from that, however, the term ‘climate change’ distinctively signifies the dangerous and accelerated rise in global temperature caused by the emission of greenhouse gases. This term has since gained its own magnitude and preference among the international climate change advocacy network since the founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. In short, the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘environment’ are no longer simply interchangeable in today’s state of affairs.

Climate change affects many sectors worldwide including agriculture, fisheries, livestock, forestry, tourism, food, energy and health. The effects of climate change also threaten the collapse of ecosystems, extinction of animal species and the natural world. In relation to this, a Merdeka Centre survey in 2016 stated that a significant number of Malaysians (81%) are concerned about climate change and dissatisfied with the government’s efforts in managing it.

In brief, we believe in the significance of including the term ‘climate change’ in the name of the Ministry for the following reasons:

1. Having the term ‘climate change’ in the Ministry’s nomenclature would signify its mandate to address climate change, in line with Malaysia’s commitment in conventions and resolutions that it had signed or ratified which include the term climate change:

  • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Entered into force 1994, signed by Malaysia in 1993 and ratified in 1994.
  • Kyoto Protocol on UNFCCC. Drafted in 1997, ratified by Malaysia in 2002, came into force in 2005.
  • Paris Agreement as a replacement of the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC signed by 197 parties. Adopted in December 2015, ratified by Malaysia and came into force in 2016.

Additionally, the implementation of the National Policy of Climate Change by the government in 2010, further supports the weightage given towards climate change on a national level.

2. Adding the term ‘climate change’ in its name, the Ministry will demonstrate that it recognizes climate change as a highly precipitous phenomenon that threatens the very existence of human societies. It would additionally serve as a guiding principle which influences the Ministry’s agenda-setting to be laser-focused on this state of emergency.

3. Globally, there are currently 6 governments only with ministries that have progressively embraced the term climate change: New Zealand, Canada, Finland, India, Pakistan, and UAE. It would serve as an opportunity for Malaysia to lead by example, especially in the ASEAN region, in showcasing its steadfast commitment to a global movement that impacts humanity across generations. This gives the government credibility and leverage in international negotiations on the issue of climate change.

4. It will allow for collaboration with other countries for the common cause of tackling climate change (e.g. Malaysia and UK climate change and low carbon initiative). This will foster strong connections with allies with the hopes of learning from their success stories and increasing technological exchange.

5. As climate change is now a global concern, including the term will increase the strength and presence of climate change initiatives in Malaysia. This may cultivate the interest of investors and create better investment opportunities in green technology.

6. The addition of ‘climate change’ will also emphasize the ministry’s position as the go-to in coordinating this matter across federal, state and local authorities to avoid duplication of efforts. This position also provides a direct avenue for climate advocacy NGOs, environmentalists, private sectors and the general public to coalesce with one another, engage with the Ministry and derive solutions on climate action.

7. The Ministry’s emphasis on climate change will increase support for climate change causes among the youth. It will allow for a chain effect to occur when the youth start taking initiatives and influence the people around them to partake in the government’s initiatives regarding climate change. Additionally, youth climate change advocacy groups will be able to sense the Ministry’s inclusivity.

8. The ‘finite pool of worry’ theory predicts that as concern over one issue (like economic survival) grows, concern over other issues (like climate change) will start to diminish. Given the current circumstances that the country is heaving through such as COVID-19 and the pre-existing resistance from some sectors of the public, there is more need to highlight climate change as a problem. Omitting the term ‘climate change’ from the name of the ministry may negatively impact the climate change cause.

9. It has been observed that the Ministry’s inclusion of the term ‘climate change’ in its name previously was effective in dealing with an expanse of issues involving climate change. There was more awareness of its importance and its impact was more perceived by the common public.

Humanity has less than 10 years to limit global heating to 1.5℃ according to the 2018 IPCC report by leading climate scientists. With all this considered, the Malaysian Youth Delegation calls for the Ministry of Environment and Water to:

1. Adopt the term “climate change” as part of the Ministry’s official name
2. Lead and coordinate the government ministries in sustainable climate action
3. Further develop contemporary climate change and related policies for the present and future generation.

Written by: Syaqil Suhaimi, Saef Wan, Liyana Yamin, Jen Ho, Ai Hui, Fathi Rayyan, Zhee Qi, Mahirah Marzuki, Sonia Kiew, Azierah Ansar, Alyaa See, Raudhah Ibrahim, Preveena Jayabalan, Ngiam Karyn, Meor Muhammad Hakeem, Bryan Yong

[Media Statement] Malaysian Youth Delegation Responds to YB Yeo’s Address at the UN Climate Change Conference

MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION RESPONDS TO YB YEO’S ADDRESS AT THE UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

The minister makes a strong call for cooperation and leadership from developed nations

KATOWICE, POLAND, 13 December 2018 — Yang Berhormat Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, addressed the high-level segment of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) here in Poland yesterday. The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) welcomes the minister’s statement as she called for more trust from developed nations and more international cooperation in the fight against the climate crisis.

MYD supports the minister’s call against diluting the principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and equity in the ongoing negotiations. CBDR, a key tenet of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, has come under attack from several Parties during COP24. It defines that while climate change is a global problem that needs to be tackled collectively, developed nations should take the lead in climate action, based on their historical emissions. It is imperative that Malaysia and other developing nations stand firm and insist on upholding this principle.

We fully support the minister’s call for developed nations to fulfill their moral obligations to provide financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity building to the developing world. This is reiterated in YB Yeo’s exclusive interview in the article “Finding green finance” published in The Star today. Climate finance is crucial for Malaysia to continue to thrive and prosper, while actively executing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

It is disheartening that YB Yeo did not highlight the importance of finalising the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) which is meant to set us on a pathway to limit warming to 1.5ºC by 2100. There was also no reference to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5ºC, which has indicated that the world is on its way to 1.5ºC warming as early as 2030 should the climate pledges from Parties remain as they are.

While we commend the minister for calling for more international cooperation and the need for increased assistance, trust and leadership by developed nations, we also note that she made no mention of increasing Malaysia’s ambitions in our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Malaysia is on it’s way to fulfilling its current climate pledge — a reduction of 35% of emissions intensity of GDP by 2030 from 2005 levels, with an additional 10% contingent on the receipt of support from developed nations. As we approach 2020, a year when nations are meant to increase ambitions and NDCs, how will ours be strengthened?

As the minister exclaimed in her address, the word “urgency” has been heavily mentioned at COP24. It can no longer be just a buzzword. It needs to stand for less talking and more immediate action. That starts with stronger and more ambitious NDCs from Parties across the board, including Malaysia.

The minister’s track record in the past 6 months has been commendable, from the change to 1:1 ratio for solar energy sale prices to her campaign against the dangerous radioactive waste management of the controversial Lynas Rare Earth Plant, YB Yeo has taken big strides forward. As Malaysia continues to move towards a greener economy, it is crucial to acknowledge the need for Just Transition to ensure social equity.

Perhaps these bigger strides forward will come in the shape of her plans for a Climate Change Act, which she detailed in an exclusive interview with The Star, or in the shape of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, which she mentioned in her speech here in Poland. Both are commendable initiatives and if passed into law, could be the kind of action Malaysia needs to address climate change.

At the same time, her plans for a climate change centre are encouraging and exciting news. We hope to see increased youth and civil society representation in the planning of these initiatives. In the spirit of intergenerational equity, we need to be included in the processes, discourse and planning of decisions that will affect us for decades to come. COP24 ends on the 14th of December but climate change and our daily lives carry on. We hope that YB Yeo continues to address the pertinent issues of climate change in Malaysia with strong urgency and greater climate action.

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ABOUT THE MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION (MYD)

A Malaysian civil society organisation consisting of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, such as the annual Conference of the Parties, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 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 organisations to better understand the current landscape of local and international climate policy. With that, MYD endeavours to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits. Find out more at http://powershiftmalaysia.org.my/.

For enquiries, please contact:

Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham | j.irishailham@gmail.com | 018-463 4594

Mike Campton | michael.campton@gmail.com | 012-273 8180

mydclimatechange@gmail.com

RM1.4 billion spent in just two months – Time to end fuel subsidies

RM1.4 billion spent in just two months – Time to end fuel subsidies

It’s been just over two months since the Pakatan Harapan coalition came into power. In that time, the Malaysian government has spent RM1.4 billion on fuel subsidies, as estimated by Rafizi Ramli in a recent blogpost. Soon after winning GE-14, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the weekly price float mechanism for RON95 and diesel would be removed, fixing them at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per liter respectively. This price fix will remain in place until the end of the year as the government studies potential avenues to implement its targeted fuel subsidy policy outlined in the PH manifesto.

Continued subsidies will only portray an artificially low cost of fuel to the rakyat, while encouraging private vehicle usage, leading to more urban road congestion and increased carbon emissions. This leads us down a dangerous path of normalizing subsidies once again – at a time when it’s more important than ever to wean off fossil fuel consumption. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Malaysia has shown its commitment to reaching our global temperature increase target. The reintroduction of fuel subsidies completely contradicts our contributions to solving the global climate crisis. The government is paying money to continue to emit carbon, at a time when expenditure is becoming increasingly scrutinised.

The moral reasons notwithstanding, the reintroduction of fuel subsidies may be popular and well received by the general Malaysian population. The Pakatan Harapan coalition ran on a pro-Rakyat, pro-welfare platform, emphasizing the need for a reform to the high cost of living. Throwing fuel subsidies into the bucket of tactics to reduce cost of living is short sighted and this is where we need to have a conversation about externalised costs.

While the rakyat may benefit from more affordable fuel at point of sale, the true cost – or externalised cost – is not appropriately accounted for. When we pay RM2.20 per liter at the petrol station, we are not considering the cost of health implications from pollution, the cost of loss of biodiversity, the cost of loss of agricultural productivity, along with all other hidden costs related to carbon emissions and climate change. While even the market price of fuel would not adequately cover all of these additional externalised costs, we should not be paying any less than that. When considering the welfare of the rakyat, the Pakatan Harapan government needs to have more future-oriented solutions revolving around sustainable development, good public transportation and renewable energy policies – further supporting the PH government’s manifesto item on increasing renewable energy to 20% by 2025.

In the era of fiscal responsibility, Malaysia could really use the savings from the removal of subsidies. While deterring increased use of fossil fuels, the savings could be used to incentivise more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the country. As a point of reference, just before GE-14, the Green Technology Financing Scheme was recently renewed for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022, to the tune of up to RM5 billion. To put that into perspective, at its current rate, the government will spend RM5 billion on fuel subsidies in under eight months. A Malaysia that prioritises good public transportation infrastructure and services, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects instead of fossil fuels is a Malaysia that is on the right track of developing in a sustainable manner.

[Tweet “we need drastic (climate) action now, and it starts with us quitting our fossil fuel addiction”]

While the fiscal argument to removing fossil fuel subsidies may be more convincing, we still need to make the moral argument. Over the last two centuries, the world has been built upon fossil fuels, with carbon-intensive development led by the West. This is the very premise to the argument that developed nations bear historical responsibility when it comes to fighting climate change. While Malaysia ought to champion the principle of equity on the international stage, we also need to be doing our part at home. By cutting fuel subsidies and throwing our full weight into sustainable mobility and renewable energy, we can lead the way, specifically in the Southeast Asia region, in actively finding ways to solve the climate crisis.

So here we stand – at a nation-defining juncture. #MalaysiaBaharu represents new hope for many. The question remains: do we want to look at the wellbeing of Malaysians only for the next five years, or for the next 50? We can either bid goodbye to a safe and secure future for our youth, or we can act now and make a difference. To get on a 2°C pathway, in line with the Paris Agreement, we need to take drastic (climate) action now, and it starts with us quitting our fossil fuel addiction. With strong political will, we can make a just energy transition happen.

Written by Mike

Read also: Fuel price hike statement

Date: 20 July 2018

 


ABOUT THE MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION (MYD)

A group of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, such as the annual Conference of the Parties, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 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 organisations to better understand the current landscape of local and international climate policy. With that, MYD endeavours to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits.


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#MYD2018 Urges on Good Climate Governance in Letter to Committee for Institutional Reforms

#MYD2018 Urges on Good Climate Governance in Letter to Committee for Institutional Reforms

Secretariat,

Committee on Institutional Reforms,

Level 32 Ilham Tower,

Jalan Binjai,

50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

To: The Secretariat, Committee of Institutional Reforms, Council of Eminent Persons

Date: 28 May 2018

Subject: Recommendations for Institutional Reforms and Issues

 

Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) is a Malaysian civil society organisation that represents 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 endeavours to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits.

 

Aim:

  1. This paper outlines the structural defects that stunt the decision-making process to address climate change, and subsequently offers an appropriate redressal mechanism for good climate governance.

 

Background:

2. Pakatan Harapan’s historic win in the 14th General Election serves as a symbol of renaissance in governance and democracy. The Malaysian Youth Delegation commends the Committee for Institutional Reforms’ invitation for written representations from the public as it shows the ruling coalition’s encouragement for the people to be involved in the democratic process, and its inclusivity when it takes into account of public opinion. In that spirit, we would like to propose several institutional reforms in regards to administration of climate change and environment.

3. In accordance to Janji 39 of Pakatan Harapan Manifesto, the National Coordination Council for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation (Majlis Koordinasi Kebangsaan untuk Adaptasi dan Mitigasi Iklim) will be established to coordinate Federal, State and Local Government actions against Climate Change.

4. Taking cue from the governance of the National Steering Committee on climate change, we call for actions to enable collaboration between agencies to align and integrate actions towards climate change mitigation and adaptation,  through transparent information dissemination and redefined agency objectives in the National Coordination Council for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation. This is because our existing policies and frameworks on climate change i.e. 11th Malaysia Plan, National Physical Plan 3, National Policy on Climate Change (2009), Low Carbon Cities Framework (2011) as well as other related policies for instance energy, waste management, agriculture etc. must be streamlined for coherent execution.

 


Figure 1: Institutional Arrangement and Thematic Grouping for Climate Change Action Governance in Malaysia (Biennial Update Report to UNFCCC, 2016)

 

Recommendations:

 

A. Greater Integration in the Ministry and Agencies

5. The Ministry of National Resources and Environment (NRE) must be retained, as it is an important portfolio in managing Malaysia’s vast and rich natural resources and its climate policy. It plays a crucial role in maintaining 50% of our forest cover, which was initially pledged in the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, then later reiterated by former Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak in 2015.

6. The functions of the various departments involved in the conservation and management of natural resources must be reviewed and integrated where necessary to ensure there is no functional overlap that leads to inefficiency and unaccountability. For example, although Jabatan Perhutanan Semenanjung Malaysia (JPSM) functions to manage forests and sustainable use of forest resources while Jabatan Perlindungan Hidupan Liar (PERHILITAN) functions to protect wildlife, both departments involve biodiversity conservation. Thus there should be a coordinated mechanism for implementation and monitoring to fulfill this purpose.

7. The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Industry (MOA) must also break away from the ‘silo approach’ and work with the Ministry of NRE as it involves the management of our natural resources, the focus on yield and revenue in research must be balanced with conservation, sustainability and food security. For instance conversion of natural forest to agricultural land use may affect carbon sequestration as well as release of greenhouse gas (GHG).

8. Conservation on Marine Species should also be re-delineated as whether it is more appropriate to be managed under NRE or Department of Fisheries (under MOA) as conservation is crucial to sustainable use of marine resources. On top of that, there must be an emphasis on coral reef conservation as more than 55% of the released carbon is captured by marine organisms, and coral bleaching is one of the major causes of carbon sink reduction. Otherwise, the MOA would simply be counterproductive to the NRE which would amount to wasteful expenses of the taxpayer’s money.

9. Likewise, in order to achieve the goal of 40% carbon emissions reduction by 2020 as stated in Janji 39, focus must be directed beyond the energy sector to include other GHG-contributing sectors such as the transportation and waste management which requires working together with the relevant ministries.

10. We would like to highlight the following Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation actions that should be placed under the new Ministry of Natural Resources or under the purview of Majlis Koordinasi Kebangsaan untuk Adaptasi dan Mitigasi Iklim based on the First Biennial Update Report (BUR) that was submitted to the UNFCCC in 2016:

 

Call for Actions:

 

On Climate Change Mitigation:

11. Increase access to affordable and sustainable energy. The current mechanism that impedes wider progress are as follows:

  • Limited funding constricts wider deployment of Renewable Energy through the Feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism.
  • Limited financial resources and capacity obstructs the development of a sound and holistic energy efficiency plan.

12. Practice interagency inclusive decision-making. The current defects that impedes wider integrations are as follows:

  • Lack of coordination among relevant local, state, federal agencies for waste management due to restricted applicability of legislation in certain states.
  • Lack of effective coordination has hindered the implementation of the 3R (reuse, reduce and recycle) programme.

13. Revive GHG Inventory Projects, NAMA & MRV. GHG identification and quantification are essential to track progress, currently we:

  • Lack of proper assessment tools and skills to enable accurate quantification of GHG emissions.

14. Regulate Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Activities. The current mechanism that impedes wider progress are as follows:

  • Competing socio-economic development puts strain on land use patterns, while economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by forests remain largely invisible and undervalued.
  • Land use change affects peat-lands and associated peat fires result in increased emissions.

15. Reduce Emission from Transportation Sector. The current defects that impedes wider integrations are as follows:

  • The current policy on fuel subsidy without proportional incentive for hybrid and electric vehicles gives rise to more private vehicle use that would lead to significant growth in energy consumption and GHG emission in the transportation sector.
  • The enhancement of the public transportation system that has expanded beyond mass connection to bus system will counter the move to reduce GHG emissions unless the planned 10, 000 new buses includes a mix of electric and Euro 6 fuel efficient buses.
  • Technology compatibility challenges for certain vehicle engine models in using progressively higher composition of palm oil biofuel in biodiesel blends for vehicles.

16. Reduce Emission from Livestock Production. The increase in meat consumption has led to the increase in GHG, as such:

  • The growth in human population and increasing income per capita, in turn increases the demand in meat production, accounting emissions from livestock by-products, as well as direct and indirect emissions.
  • The MOA should work with relevant agencies to monitor and increase research on the effects and consumption of the livestock industry, moving towards more sustainable practices of organic and plant-based farming for mitigation measures.

 

On Climate Change Adaptation:  

17. Expedite a National Adaptation Plan. The current defects that impedes wider integrations are as follows:

  • Approach to adaptation has been largely on a sectoral basis in response to specific needs, leading to lack of holistic and advanced planning for adaptation to climate change.
  • Lack of capacity in interpreting data from high-resolution climate change projection scenarios for adaptation assessment and application in various sectors.

18. Assess coastal vulnerability.

  • Detailed sea-level rise studies have only been conducted at some vulnerable coastal areas.
  • Impacts of extreme weather events continuously take a heavy toll on lives, livelihoods and infrastructures, despite cumulative efforts on flood mitigation.
  • Implementation of Integrated Flood Management (IFM), Integrated Flood forecasting and early warning systems (EWS) needs to be expanded to all river basins, taking into account the role of forests in IFM.
  • Assessments of impacts of sea-level rise, and its impact on groundwater and saline intrusion taking into consideration socio-economic effects need to be improved.

19. Revise major development without climate change adaptation.

  • Essential infrastructure such as roads, railways, seaports and airports, public amenities and private properties are currently constructed without factoring in the impacts of climate change.
  • Increased challenges of reducing energy consumption for cooling purposes, while durability of conventional building materials could be shortened by excessive heat.

20. Study food security and sustain farmers’ livelihood.

  • The yields of crops are susceptible to extreme weather patterns and could affect food security.
  • Smallholders and farmers slow to adopt good agricultural practices that could help them adapt to climate change.

21. Expedite biodiversity conservation and adaptation.

  • Limited data and information on impacts of climate change on species and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems available to public.

 

B. Inclusion of Youth in Climate Policy

22. We call for the inclusion of youth representation from a civil society organisation in the National Coordination Council for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation.  Intergenerational equity lies in the core of sustainable development, that is, development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is imperative then, that the voice of the youths are well-represented in the decision-making process as they will be facing the consequences of policies that determine the management of natural resources as well as the irreversible effects of climate change.

 

C. Revamping Climate Education Policies

23. Comprehensive climate and environment education be made or included in core subjects for primary and secondary education. This is important in providing a holistic understanding of the interdependent relationship between the climate-earth system and humanity to invoke climate-consciousness among students when they analyse real-world issues like sustainable development, poverty and food security.  

24. Building the capacity of students in school encourage changes in their attitudes  behaviour builds a more informed and engaged society that conserves and consumes responsibly.   

 

Conclusion

25. As Malaysia turns a new leaf, many reforms will be made. In the midst of this, we must ensure the focus on climate action is not lost. MYD is encouraged by the affirmations of the PH government, and looks forward to mutual engagement for a brighter, safer, and sustainable Malaysia.

 

For enquiries, please contact:

Nachatira Thuraicamy | t.nachatira@gmail.com | 011-2100 5882

Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham | j.irishailham@gmail.com | 018-463 4594

mydclimatechange@gmail.com

MYD Calls On Pakatan Harapan Government to Strengthen Climate Action in Malaysia

MYD Calls On Pakatan Harapan Government to Strengthen Climate Action in Malaysia

MEDIA STATEMENT

16 MAY 2018

MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION CALLS ON PAKATAN HARAPAN GOVERNMENT TO STRENGTHEN CLIMATE ACTION IN MALAYSIA

With the historic win by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in the 14th General Elections on 9th May 2018 under their belt, the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) urges the PH government to prioritise climate change and environmental issues, as stated in their Buku Harapan. The Malaysian Youth Delegation wishes to bring forward three key areas of focus for the coalition as the transition to government gets underway:

  1. Importance must be placed on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE)

Since its inception in 2004, NRE has been a key factor in the fight against climate change, and in managing Malaysia’s vast and rich natural resources, which are crucial to our economy. NRE has not been named as one of the first 10 ministries by the Prime Minister. While we understand that more ministries will be announced at a later date, we must stress the importance of maintaining the NRE portfolio. Furthermore, we call for the strengthening of the Environmental Management and Climate Change Division within NRE. We believe it would provide better guidance over mitigation and adaptation plans in the face of climate change and adverse weather events, as well as further advocate climate change education among Malaysians. Additionally, NRE plays a crucial role in maintaining 50% of our forest cover, which was initially pledged in 1992 by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, then later reiterated in 2015 by former Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak. We urge the PH government to maintain this commitment as Malaysia’s forests play an important role in preserving our rich biodiversity, while acting as a natural carbon sink.

  1. Transparency and inclusion in environmental and sustainability promises (7, 8, 39)

We laud PH in calling itself an environmentally friendly government, and we look forward to the roll out of the sustainability measures mentioned in Promise 39 of Buku Harapan. The intent to form a National Coordination Council for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation is commendable, but it will need to be inclusive. We call upon the PH government to provide youth a seat at the table so that our voices can be heard. Climate change is the most pressing global issue of our time and the youth of this country, who will face the full brunt of climate change in the coming decades, deserve to have a platform to contribute fresh ideas. Further emphasis should be placed on our National Adaptation Plan as a means of protecting Malaysians who will be vulnerable to climate impacts presently and in the future.

The reintroduction of petrol subsidies, decrease in excise duties of imported cars and the abolishment of highway tolls will encourage use of private vehicles, which is contradictory to other sustainable development plans. To counteract this, efforts in enhancing public transport nationwide need to be ramped up. MYD commends the plan to put 10,000 new public buses on the road. These buses should should be a mix of electric and Euro 6 fuel efficient buses, and should be part of comprehensive plans on providing better, cleaner and safer modes of transportation, accessible to all Malaysians. A success story that should be emulated across the nation is the Smart Selangor Free Bus program. Additionally, incentives for hybrid and electric vehicles should be reintroduced in the next National Budget.

The goal of 40% carbon emissions reduction by 2020 is ambitious and is laudable, but requires further delineation and should be aligned with the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pledged by Malaysia in ratifying the Paris Agreement. To achieve this goal, emphasis will have to be placed on not just the energy sector by way of renewable energy investments, but also other major GHG-contributing sectors such as the transportation, waste management and agricultural sectors. That being said, our renewable energy future shall be nuclear-free and MYD fully supports the PH government’s stance on this. To facilitate this, we urge to maintain and strengthen the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), as we forge a path forward to a low-carbon society in Malaysia.

MYD is willing to participate and engage as a youth and environmental CSO in Malaysia, should there be a monitoring committee organised to ensure delivery of promises.

  1. Continued commitment and ratcheting up of NDCs in accordance with the Paris Agreement 2015 (Article 4)

In Malaysia’s Nationally Determined Contribution, submitted to the UNFCCC, Malaysia has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 35% by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005, with an additional 10% upon receipt of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building from developed nations. MYD expects the PH government not only to commit to maintaining this pledge, but to also ratchet up and increase ambition in accordance with Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.

While there is a need for all nations to increase their ambitions via NDCs, there is also the need for increased assistance from developed nations. MYD expects the PH government to continue to fight for equitable climate solutions for Malaysia on the international stage, especially in the realms of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building to fulfil the 10% conditional GHG emissions intensity of GDP reduction.

In accordance with Article 11 of the Paris Agreement, we also encourage the PH government to place priority on climate change capacity building. We need to equip Malaysians with the skills necessary to think of solutions and take actions to adapt to adverse climate impacts such as unpredictable rainfall and flash floods which have struck our country in recent years.

As Malaysia turns a new leaf, many reforms will be made. In the midst of this, we must ensure the focus on climate action is not lost. MYD is encouraged by the promises made by the PH government and we look forward to engaging in a meaningful manner for a brighter, more sustainable and safer Malaysia.

-END-

 

For enquiries, please contact:

Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham | j.irishailham@gmail.com | 018-463 4594

Mike Campton | michael.campton@gmail.com | 012-273 8180

mydclimatechange@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE: MYD Statement made it to The Star

PRESS RELEASE: MYD Statement made it to The Star

We, the Malaysian Youth Delegation have produced a youth statement in response to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement on last Monday.

Moreover, THE STAR spiced up our statement by giving us media exposure in the news today. You can read the full text below

Americans have more to lose from getting out – Letters | The Star Online

THE Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), a group of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, expresses its deepest disappointment in the United States’ decision to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement.

We would like to express our gratitude to the editor as well as The Star for including our statement in the newspaper. We appreciate your willingness to publish a candid response. Ultimately, we are also grateful to The Star for allowing the voice of the youth to be heard.