马来西亚核准《巴黎协定》

马来西亚核准《巴黎协定》

img_20161107_120204(马拉喀什, 16日讯) 马来西亚自然资源与环境部部长拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生今日于 《联合国气候变化框架公约》 (UNFCCC) 在马拉喀什举行的第二十二届缔约方会议 (the 22nd Conference of the Parties) 中的高阶层会议 (High Level Segment) 宣布马来西亚继今年4月22日在联合国总部签署 《巴黎协定》 后, 日前已经呈递相关文件, 预料将在数日内确认核准 《巴黎协定》。《巴黎协定》 乃 《公约》 下继 《京都议定书》 后第二份有法律约束力的气候协议,为2020年后全球应对气候变化部署行动, 将全球平均气温升幅控制在工业化前平均气温之上2摄氏度, 竭力控制气温上升幅度的目标则设定为1.5摄氏度。全球一共193个国家签署了这一协定。根据该条约,只要55个 《公约》 缔约方(其温室气体排放量占全球总排放量至少约55%)交存其批准、接受、核准或加入文书之日后第30天起将生效。目前共110缔约方核准了该条约,包括欧盟国家,加拿大,日本,中国等强国,该全球气候协议已经于11月4日正式生效。img_20161116_185429拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生在致词中表明马来西亚对执行 《巴黎协定》 的决心,全力减少碳排放量。他也重申马来西亚对《公约》以及 《巴黎协定》 中共同但有区别的责任原则 (Common but Differentiated Responsibilities) 的信心,期望发展中国家就气候变化减缓和适应以及行动获得先进国家支持。此外,马来西亚也将配合联合国定下的可持续发展目标计划 (Sustainable Development Goals),朝消除贫困,保护地球和确保繁荣前进。就森林管理而言,目前马来西亚的森林覆盖为54.5%,马登红树林自1905年开始就执行可持续管理个案就是个引以为傲的持续性森林管理例子。与此同时,拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生表示马来西亚致力保护森林的决心,全力推动减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案 (REDD+)。img_20161114_111052对于正在马拉喀什出席该会议的全体国家代表团,以及马来西亚青年代表团和其他非政府非盈利环保或气候变化组织来说,该消息确实振奋人心。马来西亚青年代表团成员嘉斯敏 (Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham),张翔隆 (Kelvin Diong Siong Loong),娜察娣拉 (Nachatira Thuraichamy),蔡满满 (Choy Moon Moon) 以及都琅雅 (Dulanga Withanarage) 有幸在大会现场见证拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生致词,当面向部长表示雀跃之心。img-20161117-wa0012参加第二十二届缔约方会议 (the 22nd Conference of the Parties) 的马来西亚青年代表团在为期两周的大会中不仅代表马来西亚青年与来自全世界的青年就气候变化课题交流, 更积极跟进大会会议, 如《巴黎协议》特设工作组 (APA) 会议, 缔约方会议 (COP) , 《京都协议》 缔方会议 (CMP), 以及第一届《巴黎协议》缔方会议 (CMA1),了解气候谈判过程并孜孜不倦地向马来西亚谈判团团员以及各气候社团如 Third World Network,Youth NGO (YOUNGO), Climate Justice Network 等理解历年案例和先进国与发展中国家针对气候议题的周旋与微妙关系并学习谈判技巧。各国于大会中商讨的议题包括减缓和适应气候变化,共同但有区别的责任原则 (Common but Differentiated Responsibilities),气候变化带来的损失和损坏 (Loss and Damage), 气候资金 (Climate Finance),技术开发和转让 (Technology Development and Transfer),行动和支持的透明度 (Transparency on Action and Support), 全球总结 (Global Stocktake) 等已列入 《巴黎协议》 的项目,为2020年后的气候变化应对部署行动。

翔隆 (Kelvin Diong) 现场报导

Quantitative Scientific Evidence for Loss and Damage

Quantitative Scientific Evidence for Loss and Damage

Source: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2016/09/loss-damage-liability-compensation-whats-difference-matter/

Source: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2016/09/loss-damage-liability-compensation-whats-difference-matter/

Date    : 14th Nov 2016
Time    : 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Venue  : Mediterranean room

Speakers:
Dr Jan S Fuglestvedt, Research Director CICERO, Norway;
Prof Lavanya Rajamani, International Environmental Law, New Delhi;
Dr Saleemul Huq, Director ICCAD, Bangladesh; and,
Dr Friederike E L Otto, Senior Researcher, ECI, University of Oxford; High level representative Govt of Bangladesh

The talk highlighted recent advances and remaining challenges by relating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to both slow-onset events and changing probabilities of extreme events. The implications for Loss and Damage (L&D) between national policy responses and international law were also discussed among experts and audiences.

It started with a presentation on emission supply chain, giving an idea of the starting year effect of emissions. In discussing whether historical contribution could potentially result in L&D, it has been suggested that there is no single answer directly linked to responsibility. However, assessment of anthropogenic activities which induced climate change impacts was extensively studied to identify correlations between the activities and resulting impacts. The climateprediction.net is currently running the largest climate modeling experiment which looks into factors contributes to climate change.

As there isn’t any concrete evidence to prove the direct linkage between anthropogenic activities and climate change aftermaths, it is, therefore, impossible to say that an event is entirely affected by human influences, but may also involve other external factors. The speakers also indicated that it is difficult to quantify contributions from the EU, the US or perhaps China at this point, which brings us to the next question which is the likelihood of an event to occur when individual countries are removed from the climate predicting model.

While most of the presentations centred around principles of contributions and responsibilities, Dr Otto elaborated on assigning contributions based on global mean surface air temperature (GMT) change via a fitted distribution method or derivative method by interpreting a number of plotted graphs to explain the correlation between probable root cause and impacts. Nevertheless, the research is deemed lacking strong evidence to conclude the relationship between anthropogenic contributions to climate change consequences, although the method on event attribution was used to identify and quantify increased risk through climate change.

It was also mentioned that the quantification of factors leading to climate change is not primarily scientific, but more of a moral and political choice, where historical responsibility lies in recognising harm rather than assign liability. On a national level, determining the contribution of impacts is tricky as there is a lack of integration between required information.

As the last speaker of the talk, Dr Saleemul shared a rather straightforward case reference on Bangladesh. The country itself runs a lot of adaptation plan, more than any other countries combined. He added that Bangladesh allocated 200 million dollars for disaster management, in particular, the “victim plan before the disaster”, which is now untouched. He then mentioned how science can unlock the conundrum on L&D and stressed that climate change impacts are happening which is why COP22 is essential to iron out the mechanism and can no longer be delayed to COP24, COP25 or the 7th IPCC report for more evidence. The debate on how to rightly define L&D is indeed complicated as natural disasters like cyclone and drought might be caused by temporal or localised factor.

In summary, there is no single correct answer to L&D due to many factors which are beyond science, as quoted by Dr Jan. Profesor Lavanya explained that at the moment, it is difficult to determine the solidarity of legal liability and scientific evidence in respect to L&D. Dr Otto called for consideration of non-scientific factors and comprehensive understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts, and Dr Saleemul reiterated by stating that proactive adaptation plan could potentially reduce the impacts of L&D.

Written by Kelvin Diong
Edited by Choy Moon Moon

Mooning over Ban Ki-moon

Mooning over Ban Ki-moon

I saw an Asian man walking past one of the booths I was squatting at with a noticeable number of guards and the press. I was surprisingly allowed entry into the tightly-controlled room, and lo and behold – it was Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.  It was one of the most incredible moments of my life, as my teammates would attest to if my fangirling was any indication.

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Signing ceremony of a bilateral agreement between Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Gabonese. From L-R: President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea; United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon; and, President Ali Bongo Ondimba of the Republic of Gabonese

I managed to compartmentalise my excitement to learnt that he was hosting a signing ceremony of a bilateral agreement between Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Gabonese. He commended President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and President Ali Bongo Ondimba of the Republic of Gabonese, and stated that ‘the event today is a testimony to the determination of the countries to move with a common vision to strengthen and respect the international rule of law, and contribute to lasting peace and good neighbourly relations.’

The ceremony marked the successful conclusion of the UN mediation that started in 2008 but was attempted even earlier by former Secretary-General of UN, Kofi Annan, on finding a mutually acceptable solution to the border dispute between the two countries for submission to the International Court of Justice.

The dispute involves three small islands in Corisco Bay, Mbanie, Cocotiers and Congas that are near the border of the continental territory of Equatorial Guinea. It can be traced back to 1972, although it ‘peaked’ in 2003 when Gabonese Defense Minister Ali Bongo visited the islands and reasserted Gabon’s territorial claim to them.[1]

What is interesting, is that the disputed waters are expected to hold large commercially exploitable reserves with fields on north sides of the Corisco Bay area to have wells with reserves of several hundred thousand barrels of oil each. The dispute has prevented oil companies from carrying out a full exploration of the nearby offshore waters.

It is notable that both countries are major oil exporters, with Equatorial Guinea being the Sub-Saharan Africa’s third biggest oil producers while Gabon’s crude petroleum export contributes to 80.9% of the country’s total exports in 2014 as Africa’s fifth largest oil producing country.[2] The UN has been working on resolving the sovereignty dispute over the Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay, so yesterday’s ceremony should be good news… or, is it?

Equatorial Guinea is ruled by a dictatorship and is criticised to use the oil revenues to fund lavish lifestyles for the small elite, meanwhile less than half of the population has access to clean drinking water,[3] and nearly 10% of the children do not live to 5 years old.[4] Corruption, poverty and repression reign the country that has the highest wealth ranking in Africa, ranked in the top 12 list of most corrupt states by corruption watchdog Transparency International.

The Republic of Gabon on the other hand heavily depends on the export of oil and manganese to sustain its export-driven economy. However, it has been reported that about 30% of the population remains vulnerable, living with monthly incomes below the guaranteed minimum wage and that basic social services such as healthcare, drinking water and electricity have deteriorated in 60% of the regions in the country.[5] So what does this mean?

I could not find Equatorial Guinea’s NDC, but the Republic of Gabon states that within the period of 2010 – 2025, it intends to reduce GHG emissions by 63% but also that land change accounts to 63% of current GHG gases.[6] What I am concerned about, is whether this ‘compromise’, in the words of President Ali Bongo Ondimba would result in greater exploitation of oil reserves which is contrary to the direction we would want to go in reducing GHG emissions and use of fossil fuels.

However, I can’t help but wonder if I am thinking from a paternalistic ‘developed country’s’ point of view by judging their use of natural resources to accumulate wealth. After all, I am sure Spain and France had suffered no qualms in exporting their resources back home during their colonisation. It is also interesting how the historical context of this dispute as well as others, can be pointed to the territorial boundaries drawn by European colonisers. This was mentioned by one of the national negotiators I spoke to and got me thinking about these disputes as yet another effect of colonisation. But this is a conversation for another day.

My point, however, is the distribution in the use of resources and the priorities of these countries in using the oil reserves that I am certain they will. Will the profits be used to line the coffers of the top elite in Equatorial Guinea and further stack power to quell dissent, or would they be used to such an extent that resources diminish, but the welfare of people are still stagnated or if developed, not in proportion to the environmental and climate cost? Would the riches gained from them be used to equip themselves and the most vulnerable communities like the Pygmy,[7] to adapt to climate change?

I was ecstatic that I could witness such a momentous event with my own two eyes, even taking a full half hour to stop squealing like an excited pig. However, digging a little deeper has muddied it for me – I am not concerned about what the agreement would mean to climate change. Yes, in the words of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are ‘brothers’ bound by history and geography, but would this relationship be shouldered and later polluted from the petroleum industry as the private petroleum companies clap their hands in glee?

Written by Nachatira Thuraichamy
Edited by Choy Moon Moon

References:

  1. http://www.irinnews.org/news/2004/01/23/un-mediates-dispute-over-corisco-bay-islands
  2. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13317175; http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/gabon/overview; http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/gab/
  3. https://www.hrw.org/africa/equatorial-guinea
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13317175
  5. http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/gabon/overview
  6. http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Gabon%20First/20150331%20INDC%20Gabon.pdf
  7. http://www.iwgia.org/regions/africa/gabon

 

The Life of a Yellow Badge

The Life of a Yellow Badge

Preparation to attend the year’s biggest climate negotiations, the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) started six months ago. I was elated to have been chosen to represent the Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD). Being of Sri Lankan origin, to enter the Malaysian climate change scene was an achievement in itself for me. Together with a bunch of like-minded Malaysian Youth and a support system of buddies, my journey to COP22 began in May 2016.

Apart from the rigorous application process we the MYD 2016 had to go through, we had a training series spanning six months to make sure we were prepared for the big challenge ahead. It was no easy task, juggling a Final Year Project, an internship at an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), and the workload from MYD through the summer break. The training sessions required extensive reading into the subject matter of the UNFCCC, we refer to as the Bible.

My goal at COP22 was to shadow a national negotiator of Malaysia and Sri Lanka respectively, and write-up on how the two developing like-minded countries approach the negotiations to safeguard their respective national interests. I took my time off my busy schedule to follow not only Malaysia’s interest at COP but also of my motherlands. Little did I know that both countries’ negotiators wanted me to follow them into the negotiation room, something I could not do with my yellow ‘Observer’ badge. They were of the view that watching and observing was the best way to learn and gather knowledge for my article.

Jasmin, Dulanga and Kelvin posing with their badges

Jasmin, Dulanga and Kelvin posing with their badges

Life’s a climb and hiccups are unavoidable. Here in sub-Saharan Africa I was, let down by my Yellow badge unable to attend every single meeting I wanted to attend. So what does one do? One adapts! I changed my personal goal to suit my badge. I didn’t completely abandon my initial plans. I did catch a few dinners with a Malaysian negotiator and a few coffee sessions with three Sri Lankan negotiators. However, my main objective after I reached COP was to link the differences and challenges faced by the global south.

For a COP held in the global south, from day 1 I felt that the global south’s representation was minimal. Every working group, meeting and side event I attended was flooded by the vocal global north. The disparity in voicing out ideas between them was clearly observed and I was amused by it because it is the global south that is most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

The benefits of a yellow badge meant I could take part in all the actions organised. Since I was engrossed in the meetings and interviews I was carrying out with the delegations of Malaysia and Sri Lanka, I was able to devote only my weekends for actions. Climate March took place on Sunday with a huge youth turnout. Youth voiced out on freezing fossil fuel, fracking and called for leaders to be more transparent.

That is the summary of how a yellow badge changed my goal at COP and what a lot it taught me. The disparity between the north-south divide made me appreciate the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities more than ever, and the yellow badge opened my eyes not only towards negotiations, but the entire COP experience in general. Ever so grateful to MYD for giving me this opportunity, which was truly life changing.

Written by Dulanga Witharanage
Edited by Choy Moon Moon

马来西亚于第二十二届缔约方会议展示减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案

马来西亚于第二十二届缔约方会议展示减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案

马来西亚青年代表

马来西亚青年代表

(马拉喀什, 14日讯) 马来西亚自然资源与环境部部长拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生今日出席《联合国气候变化框架公约》 (UNFCCC) 在马拉喀什举行的第二十二届缔约方会议(the 22nd Conference of the Parties),为马来西亚阁 (Malaysian Pavilion) 进行开幕仪式,并发表马来西亚致力保护森林的决心,全力推动减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案(REDD+)。在场的《联合国气候变化框架公约》 (UNFCCC) 官员也见证了马来西亚呈递并讲解减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案保障报告 (Malaysia REDD+ Safeguard Report)。

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马来西亚自然资源与环境部部长拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生为马来西亚阁进行开幕仪式

除此之外, 活动当天也邀请了联合国粮食及农业组织 (Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO),越南以及印尼主讲减少毁林和森林退化所致排放量方案在东南亚进行的各项目范例。其他讲座包括非洲西部区域合作森林检测案例,来自世界自然基金会 (WWF) 亨利先生主讲成立多年由马来西亚, 印尼以及文莱一起合作的婆罗之心 (Heart of Borneo) 森林资源管理项目, Carbon Trust 的斯迪芬先生 (Mr Chris Stephens) 分享如何利用森林管理筹资应对气候变化。来自马来西亚猛公湖 (Tasik Temenggor) 班定岛 (Pulau Banding) 的原住民也于现场呈现民主舞蹈, 吸引了许多不同国籍的观众。

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马来西亚青年代表

马来西亚青年代表团成员嘉斯敏(Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham),张翔隆 (Kelvin Diong Siong Loong),娜察娣拉(Nachatira Thuraichamy),蔡满满 (Choy Moon Moon) 以及都琅雅(Dulanga Withanarage)也借此机会与拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生会面,雀跃之心向部长简介马来西亚青年代表团于国内气候变化推广教育活动,以及第二十二届缔约方会议跟进各谈判会议,并进一步了解国家对今年4月22日于纽约签署的《巴黎协定》(Paris Agreement)以及《京都协议》与2012年的《多哈修正案》(Doha Amendment)动向。

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环境部部长拿督斯礼万祖奈迪医生, 蔡满满 & 娜察娣拉

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BERNAMA & 嘉斯敏

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

参加第二十二届缔约方会议(Conference of Parties 22) 的马来西亚青年代表团在为期两周的大会中不仅代表马来西亚青年与来自全世界的青年就气候变化课题交流,更积极跟进大会会议,如《巴黎协议》特设工作组 (APA) 会议, 缔约方会议 (COP), 《京都协议》 缔方会议 (CMP), 以及第一届 《巴黎协议》缔方会议 (CMA1),了解气候谈判过程并孜孜不倦地向马来西亚谈判团团员以及各气候社团如 Third World Network, Youth NGO (YOUNGO), Climate Justice Network 等理解历年案例和先进国与发展中国家针对气候议题的周旋与微妙关系并学习谈判技巧。各国于大会中商讨的议题包括减缓和适应气候变化,共同但有区别的责任原则 (Common but Differentiated Responsibilities),气候变化带来的损失和损坏 (Loss and Damage), 气候资金 (Climate Finance),技术开发和转让 (Technology Development and Transfer),行动和支持的透明 (Actions and Support on Transparency), 全球总结 (Global Stocktake) 等已列入《巴黎协议》的项目,为2020年后的气候变化应对部署行动。

翔隆 (Kelvin Diong) 现场报导