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The Urgent Need to Apply Climate Lens in Environmental Management


Evelyn Teh


Jaringan Ekologi dan Iklim (JEDI)

Policy Code:

3j Environment

Problem Statement:

The climate crisis is upon us. The grave warning in the latest IPCC report indicates that the window to stay within a safe global temperature limit is closing by the day. Albeit this unsettling reality, the Malaysian government is largely nonchalant when it comes to treating the impending climate impacts as a crisis. This is demonstrated through the way the country continues to pursue development trajectories that are carbon-intensive and without a real plan to wind down reliance on fossil fuel and other forms of extractive industries for the sake of profit (e.g., mining, deforestation and carbon intensive construction projects).

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Malaysia is a Party to the UNFCCC, with a climate commitment that includes reducing GHG intensity by 45% per unit GDP by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Climate adaptation is also a key component of that commitment. Malaysia has adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - emphasising that environmental sustainability is central in Malaysia’s development paradigm. Malaysia is obligated to uphold the multilateral treaties that it has signed on.

Proposal of Solution:

There is a need to immediately implement measures to build back better from the pandemic while putting on the climate lens, be it in climate mitigation or adaptation. The Malaysian government must acknowledge and declare a national climate emergency and treat it as such at all policy, governance, and institutional levels across agencies. Actions to be taken include formulating laws and regulations that impose low-carbon development and transportation, prevent further deforestation and ensure food security to name a few. There is a need to ramp up national budget allocations for effective implementations and enforcement of climate-related actions. This must be done in an inclusive manner with true multi-stakeholder participation and representations, especially with the indigenous and vulnerable communities. In addition, a holistic approach towards public awareness should include environmental education as a component in the school curriculum and increased coverage on climate change issues by mainstream media outlets.


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