Malaysia To Raise Climate Change And Its Impact During ASEAN Summit

Chandravathani Sathasivam Bernama 24 Apr 15;

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will raise the issue of climate change and its impact on the region's socio-economy during the 26th ASEAN Summit, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

He said that this was important because Southeast Asia is one of the world's most vulnerable regions to climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, typhoons, sea level rise and heat waves.

"To show our commitment and leadership, Malaysia hopes to sign a new agreement at the 21st United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties in Paris in December this year.

"This would emphasise the urgent need for ASEAN to enhance awareness among all member states to address the climate change issues," he told Bernama ahead of the ASEAN Summit slated for April 26 to 27 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.

Palanivel said that the new agreement would address four important pillars, namely adaptation, mitigation, finance and development, and transfer of technology, to promote sustainable development for a clean and green ASEAN.

Some environmental researchers want Malaysia to table a motion for a joint study among ASEAN countries on the global climate change and its impact, aimed at creating a platform of cooperation for ASEAN scientists.

Palanivel said that ASEAN face future challenges with extreme weather related events, that could impact food production and security, as well as hamper sustainable social and economic development.

"The ASEAN Summit will need to forge stronger and closer cooperation in the area of climate change adaptation to share knowledge and information. Furthermore, ASEAN member states also need to cooperate in disaster management to respond more effectively to extreme weather disasters," he noted.

On the proposal to include environment as the regional grouping's fourth community pillar, Palanivel said that the adoption would signal ASEAN's readiness to assume a more significant role in global environment and climate change governance.

"With a fourth pillar, ASEAN can become pro-active in addressing climate change and can be engaged more by civil society for a more transformative framework," he said.

ASEAN comprises 10 countries -- Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.