Malaysia to ratify global climate change pact this year

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― Malaysia will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before December, a minister said.

Local daily The Star quoted Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar saying that he would be attending a United Nations (UN) programme in New York tomorrow, to renew Malaysia’s pledge to combat climate change.

“Malaysia is saying that when we ratify, we are going to give some kind of assurance to the UN that we can perform it.

“But we are now in position to ratify the Paris agreement. I believe we will be one of the 55 countries. Not this trip, but the Prime Minister has already agreed and we can commit before December 2016,” Wan Junaidi reportedly told the daily.

Malaysia is one of the 195 countries that adopted The Paris Agreement, an international legally binding treaty for post-2020 climate action.

Wan Junaidi, however, added that negotiations are still ongoing with all the state mentri besar, chief ministers and state executive councillors, for amendments in order to facilitate the Paris pact.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) had, in a letter to Malay Mail Online last month, urged Putrajaya to pay heed to the challenges arising from the impact of climate change.

“In the meantime, Malaysia has experienced climate change-related extreme weather events such as the 2014 year-end devastating floods that was estimated to have incurred damages amounting to hundreds of millions ringgit with the agriculture sector in the worst hit state of Kelantan alone recording losses of RM105 million.

“No official cost estimates had been made available of the recent heat wave but its impacts has surely been felt by the general public who are forced to install air-conditioners and paying more for electricity usage,” the environmental group said.

The Paris Agreement calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 1.5 C (2.7 F) if possible, compared with pre-industrial levels.

International newswire AFP reported that to date, only 24 signatories had ratified it, including France and many island states threatened by rising sea levels but who only produce a tiny proportion of the world’s emissions.

The Star reported that Malaysia pledged to cut greenhouse emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and has introduced measures such as developing carbon-neutral new cities, tax incentives to companies which report and limit their emissions, procuring more environmentally-friendly government assets and planting 13 million new trees since 2011.

The daily quoted Wan Junaidi saying that the country is poised to cut another 32 million tonnes from its carbon emissions by 2020.