Monday, December 14, 2009

IMPACTS of Climate Change on MALAYSIA...

Source: The Star dated 14th December, 2009

Title : Presence at Copenhagen climate summit not merely diplomatic

Malaysia’s participation at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit is not merely a diplomatic commitment but a mission to determine the survival of the world in the next century.

Although the country is not in danger of sinking as a result of rising sea level due to global warming, like the Maldives, it will still feel the repercussions from greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a report from the Drainage and Irrigation Department, the country’s coastal line has narrowed by about 40m due to erosion at 33 locations.

There were also drastic climate changes like unpredictable rain and thunderstorms in the capital, as well as drought in some states.

Also, the Fourth Assessment Report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that 1,200 sq km of the country’s coastline would be under water due to sea-level rise if no measures were taken to tackle global warming.

It was also reported that major towns in the region had been affected by global warming and that this had caused drought episodes in parts of Malaysia.

The IPCC study noted that Malaysia would experience a temperature rise of between 0.6°C and 4.5°C by 2060, which explained the need for Malaysia to be at the summit.

According to Associate Prof Dr Kamarulnizam Abdullah of Univer­siti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia’s presence is not merely diplomatic.

We are here to send a bigger message, that developing countries (and poor countries) will be affected if the issue on global warming continues,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will join more than 100 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, in the final stages of the summit to thrash out a global deal, including how much industrialised countries are willing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The leaders will discuss the creation of an international green fund to provide developing countries with financial and technical resources to create a carbon-free economy.

The fund is crucial, particularly for poor nations forced to use cheap technology to develop their countries,” Dr Kamarulnizam said.

What is certain, is that the Copenhagen summit is expected to tackle the “weaknesses” of the Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997, due to an absence of a regulatory body to ensure the agreement signed by 184 countries, is implemented.

As a result, the objective of the protocol was not met. The United States did not sign the Kyoto Protocol.

Prof Dr Suhaimi Abdul Talib, from Universiti Teknologi Mara, said global warming was a serious issue because of its effects on developing countries, like Malaysia.

“The well-being of our environment will assure the well-being of our economy,” said Prof Suhaimi, adding that the Copenhagen summit would be a venue for the world community to unite and collectively tackle problems of global warming.

In that context, he said Malaysia’s role would include voicing the hope of poor countries. — Bernama

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