Malaysia signs the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use and the Global Methane Pledge
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) witnessed the gathering of world leaders to address and reach a consensus on climate issues. The conference was essential to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This long-awaited event took place in Glasgow, United Kingdom, from Oct 31 to Nov 12, 2021.
Determined to move towards a lower-carbon economy, Malaysia had also reaffirmed its commitment to climate action by signing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use and the Global Methane Pledge at the convention.
The decision was made known through a media statement issued by the Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA) on Nov 5, signaling the country’s commitment and progressive efforts to implement climate action that would contribute to the global goals.
On Nov 10, Environment and Water Minister Dato’ Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man delivered a national statement at COP26. He began by stating Malaysia’s acknowledgement of the importance of post-pandemic green recovery.
“For this purpose, Malaysia presents the updated National Determined Contributions (NDC), which includes 45 per cent of economy-wide carbon intensity reduction (against GDP) in 2030 compared to the 2005 level.
“The intensity reduction is unconditional, and this target is 10 per cent higher than the previous target. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions coverage is also expanded to seven, compared to three previously,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim shared that Malaysia would take some measures to achieve this target. Some of the steps include implementing carbon pricing, increasing renewable energy in the installed capacity mix, maintaining at least 50 per cent of forest cover, implementing natural-based solutions, and shifting towards a low carbon development.
“I am also pleased to announce that the Malaysian government has agreed to support the Global Methane Pledge and Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use,” said Tuan Ibrahim, adding that the negotiation regarding the previous Paris Agreement was critical to limit the global temperature rise.
“However, the implementation of the Paris Agreement requires additional financing, technology transfer and capacity building for developing countries. Therefore, Malaysia urges the developed nations to fulfil their obligation under the Paris Agreement.”
Waiting for approval
The public had previously criticised the absence of the Malaysian Prime Minister and other ministerial-level representatives at COP26. They questioned the government’s stance on climate change when Indonesia had already signed the declaration to end deforestation and cut methane emissions during the first week of the conference.
Tuan Ibrahim later arrived in Glasgow on Nov 8, taking over as the head of the Malaysian delegation, initially led by Dato’ Seri Ir Dr Zaini Ujang, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Environment and Water.
Zaini stated that the minister’s participation was not a last-minute decision. He explained debates and budget presentations were going on in Parliament, and they were hoping the budget for the ministry would be approved before Tuan Ibrahim’s arrival.
He said Malaysia was late in joining the pledges because the decision needed to be approved by the Cabinet. He shared that some countries made a pre-announcement to sign the pledge and had problems once they were back in their country.
“It’s not for a person of my stature to make that announcement. It should be made by the Prime Minister or Minister to represent the country,” Zaini said, further adding that the country focused on the NDC, carbon markets, and climate finance during the COP26 negotiation sessions. — @Green