KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has urged Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man to convene a National Climate Change Conference for ideas to restore Malaysia’s activism and leadership on climate change.
He criticised the Kubang Kerian MP for claiming that Malaysia was not included in the Leaders' Summit on Climate in the United States on April 22 and 23 because the country is not climate-vulnerable nor a big contributor to greenhouse gases (GHG), calling this unacceptable and dishonest.
“Tuan Ibrahim has shown himself to be inadequate to the task of providing the required leadership and expertise on climate change action. His explanation on why Malaysia was not invited has shown him to be no different from former US president Donald Trump’s lack of knowledge and enthusiasm for climate change activism,” Lim said in a statement.
The Bagan MP further claimed that Tuan Ibrahim's argument made no sense when Singapore was invited despite its proximity to Malaysia, meaning it also should not come under either of the categories of GHG production or being climate-vulnerable.
“In truth, all countries are climate-vulnerable, only the degree that they have contributed towards promoting climate change action in their region, is the differentiating factor.
“Clearly Malaysia is not seen as a strategic environmental partner on climate change action by the US, inferior even to Vietnam, despite slowly becoming a favoured dumping ground for US' so-called 'clean' plastic waste,” he said.
Lim said that rather than being in a state of denial by this snub from the US, Tuan Ibrahim should instead react responsibly and positively by seeking assistance on how to restore Malaysia’s previous leadership on climate change activism.
“There is an economic cost to failing to treat climate change seriously. A study by a group of UK universities including Cambridge University, has predicted that 63 countries, including Malaysia, could see their sovereign credit ratings cut because of climate change by 2030.
“The survey went further by predicting that the hardest hit countries such as China, Chile, Malaysia, and Mexico could see six notches of downgrades by the end of the century,” he said.
In a statement yesterday, Tuan Ibrahim said the US conference's main objective is to encourage large economies which collectively contribute 80 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases, and to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
He added the summit is a one-off event, and will not affect negotiations and resolutions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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