Malaysia must be prepared for the changes that UNFCCC-COP28 will inevitably bring, said Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) Minister YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad at the recent Dialogue on Post UNFCCC-COP28 and Climate Change Bill.
“Like it or not, we must prepare and be ready for the transitions it (UNFCCC-COP28) will invariably spark. We do not want our workers to lose their livelihoods, or for Malaysian companies to be shut out of key export markets, or for the citizens to face endless cycles of natural disasters and skyrocketing costs of living due to failure to adapt to new global realities,” he emphasized.
Nik Nazmi also revealed that as part of its’ commitment to COP28, Malaysia is mulling the passing of a climate change bill which will address its’ commitment and the challenge of climate change. On a more granular level, the NRES Ministry is formulating the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Roadmap and Long Term-Low Emissions Development Strategies — which are strategic frameworks that chart Malaysia’s course towards becoming a Net-Zero nation. Also in the pipeline is the National Adaptation Plan, which is awaiting approval from the Green Climate Fund.
After his speech, Nik Nazmi launched Malaysia’s Post28 Report. This report is not a conclusion but a catalyst for continued action. It provides insights into what has worked, what needs improvement, and where our focus must be sharpened.
“It is a living document that invites us to learn from our collective experiences and adapt our strategies in the face of evolving environmental threats,” Niz Nazmi said.
After the launch came a presentation on the negotiation outcomes from Cop28 by Ahmad Farid Mohamed, deputy secretary of the NRES climate change division. He said among the key subjects discussed was the Global Stock Take, Mitigation, Adaption, Loss & Damage Fund, Just Work Transition and International Co-operation.
He ended by presenting the way forward for Malaysia, which was to continue participating in dialogues, study the policy implications of Cop28, implement climate related policies, adopt capacity building, seek support from relevant organizations and lastly enhance synergy with other organizations.
This was followed by a panel discussion comprising Nik Nazmi, Petronas chief sustainability officer Charlotte Wolff-Bye and Third World Network senior advisor Meenakshi Raman and moderated by Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar, chairperson and founder of Climate Governance Malaysia.
In her opening remarks, Sunita said the next two years will be critical – by Cop29 in Baku, governments must establish a climate finance plan and by Cop30, government must come prepared with NDCs that covers all greenhouses gases emission that are fully aligned with the 1.5C temperature limit.
The panel began by comments from Meenakshi and Charlotte on Cop28, followed by Nik Nazmi’s views on his fellow panelists’ comments.
Meenakshi said the real message from Cop28 was to move away from fossil fuel. What was not answered was how to guarantee a just, equitable and orderly transition to ensure the developed world are not burdened the most. Locally, the principle that the rich should carry a majority of the burden should also be included in national policymaking. Meena also pointed out that too much of the focus has been put on energy transition and not enough on adaptation policies.
Charlotte said the oil and gas industry produces 40% of the global greenhouse emissions but they have embraced the Decarbonization Charter which commits them to Net Zero carbon emission plans for 2050. However, for the plan to be effective, the Charter has to be adopted by not just International and National Oil Companies but the entire industry. She said the oil and gas industry has also to decarbonize its operations while at the same time adopting the next generation of green technology.
Nik Nazmi promised Malaysia will do what it can to achieve its Net Zero target as he said, “We don’t have any choice, it is an existential issue.”
However, the cost of energy transition is huge – RM640 billion to be spent till 2050 and the Malaysian government does not have the fiscal capacity to bear this cost alone, which is why creative ways of financing the energy transition have to be found.
Nik Nazmi also revealed the future climate change bill will mean the realization of Malaysia’s international pledges and the bill will also allow Malaysia to be more ambitious in its climate change goals.
The panelists also took questions from members of audience at the end of the session.
The last part of the event focused a presentation by Nik Anira Nik Mohd Zain, Partner of Deloitte Malaysia. Deloitte Malaysia was engaged to conduct a study by the NRES on the feasibility of a climate change bill. Deloitte’s task was to develop a legislative response; review existing laws and to consider climate change policies of domestic and international levels; conduct a study of the climate change legal framework; and to formulate a draft climate change bill.
The presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session from the floor.
In total, more than 200 participants attended the session in person while 556 followed from the three Facebook pages of the NRES, Malaysia Pavilion and the Malaysia Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation. CGM also sent its representatives - six council members and two members of the Secretariat were there in person.