Climate Change

Climate Change, or Global Warming, is one of the most serious environmental threats of the 21st century. It is the only global environmental problem that receives the attention of heads of states and governments, and has been on the agenda for nearly all the G8 meetings in recent years.

As a first global political response to the threat of climate change, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 agreed upon the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Malaysia is a Party to the UNFCCC and has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

As a developing country, Malaysia has no quantitative commitments under the Kyoto Protocol at present. However, together with all other countries, Malaysia is already committed under the UNFCCC to, inter alia, “formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change by addressing anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases


National Climate Scenarios

Climate Scenarios for Malaysia based on Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the IPCC

Year 2025 2050 2100
Carbon Dioxide Concentration 405 – 460 ppm 445 – 460 ppm 540 – 970 ppm
Mean Temperature Rise 0.2 – 0.4 °C 0.3 – 1.0 °C 0.6 – 2.3 °C
Mean Precipitation Change - 5 % to + 5 % - 5 % to + 5 % - 5 % to + 5 %
Mean Sea-Level Rise 3 – 14 cm 5 – 32 cm 9 – 88 cm

Projected Socio-Economic Impacts to Malaysia resulting from Sea Level Rise

Type of ImpactSocio-economic Impacts based on the High Rate of Sea Level Rise (0.9cm/yr)
Loss of agricultural production from eroded/inundated landsRM 46 million for Western Johor Agricultural Development Project area. The West Johor Project area accounts for about 25% of the national drainage areas
Displacement and relocation of flood victims with associated disruption of business / economic activities resulting from increased floodingLong-term annual flood damage estimated at about RM88 million for Peninsular Malaysia and RM12 million for Sabah / Sarawak based on 1980 price level. If the flood frequency is doubled, the annual flood damage will increase by 1.67 times

International Bodies Addressing Climate Change.

United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The 1990 Second World Climate Conference called for a framework treaty on climate change. The Conference supported a number of principles to be included in the Climate Change Convention. These include climate change as a common concern of humankind, the importance of equity, the common but differentiated responsibilities of countries at different levels of development, sustainable development and the precautionary principle.

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change met for five sessions between February 1991 and May 1992 and finalized the Convention in 15 months.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by 154 states in1992 and it entered into force on 21 March 1994. Presently, the Conference of Parties (COP) is the Conventions ultimate authority.

Since 1995, the COP had been held once a year for 7 times. The Convention seeks to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at safe levels. It commits developed countries to take measures aimed at returning their emissions to 1990 levels by year 2000. It also requires all countries to limit their emissions, gather relevant information, develop strategies for adapting to climate change and cooperate on research and sharing of environmentally friendly technologies.

Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC)

IPCC is an independent scientist-technical body to assess available scientific, technical and socio-economic relevant information for understanding of the risks of human induced climate change. This group of scientists was jointly established by WMO together UNEP in 1988.

IPCC has produced a series of comprehensive Assessment Reports on the state of understanding of the causes of climate change, its potential impacts and options for response strategies. The IPCC First and Second Assessment reports were completed in 1990 and 1995. The Second Assessment concluded that the balance of evidence suggests that there has been a discernible human influence on the global climate.

IPCC has also prepared a list of technical papers, special reports, methodologies and guidelines which is used by policymakers, scientists and other experts. The Third Assessment report was produced in 2001.

The IPCC provides scientific and technical advice to the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and its bodies. The usefulness of IPCC lies in its ability to provide honest, independent and credible assessments of complex scientific, technical and economic issues.

Climate Action Network International(CAN)

CAN is a global network of over 320 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in 81 countries working to get action on limiting human-induced climate change. CAN members exchange information on climate change issues and pool expert knowledge from around the globe to develop initiatives to combat climate change at the international, regional, national and local levels.

CAN has seven regional coordinating offices which co-ordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. In addition there are national contact points in Australia, France, Canada, Japan, Russia and United Kingdom. Diverse environmental organizations from around the globe, ranging from large international groups such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, to small local groups such as Terre Vivante in Mauritania, and the Albanian Ecological Club, work collaboratively within CAN.

Regional Bodies Addressing Climate Change.

Climate Action Network – Southeast Asia (CANSEA)

CANSEA is one of the eight regional networks of the Climate Action Network, an NGO established in 1989 in the run-up to the Second World Climate Conference of 1990. United by their common concern for the global climate, CAN members act in a number of different ways and roles in the climate process. CANSEA, like some CAN colleagues, are engaged in active lobby work with government representatives. CETDEM in the person of Gurmit Singh has very good influence with the Malaysian government especially with Mr. Chow Kok Kee, who is a key figure in the CoP/UNFCCC. Pelangi and Walhi have strong connections with the Indonesian government. They have at one time or the other been in the Indonesian delegation to the UN climate conferences (CoP) serving as advisers or in other capacities. CANSEA has represented the Southeast Asian voice in both the inter-sessional SBI and SBSTA as well as the regular CoP meetings of UNFCCC since CAN came into being.

The CANSEA regional network is designed to create synergy in the matter of doing advocacy work at the local and national levels with our respective governments and internationally to join forces with the rest of CAN bringing along the sentiments and concerns of the developing countries, particularly the Southeast Asian perspective, to the lobbying/negotiating arena (the UN Climate Conference of Parties with all its subsidiary bodies meetings [SBSTA, SBI]).

CANSEA is presently composed of 3 countries in Southeast Asia namely Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. With 19 member organizations and still expanding, it hopes to include Thailand with 2 or 3 organizations more.

Malaysian Climate Change Group (MCCG)

The Malaysian Climate Change Group (MCCG), comprising non-governmental organizations, was launched in December 16, 1992 in Kuala Lumpur at the end of the CANSEA Research and Monitoring Workshop. The founding members are: - Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) - Environmental Protection Society, Malaysia (EPSM) - Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia (CETDEM)

The secretariat was hosted by EPSM until 1994. CETDEM took over the role with Gurmit Singh as the MCCG coordinator.

Perak Consumers Association (PCA) joined MCCG in Aug 2002.

MCCG remains the only non-governmental body in Malaysia that actively addresses climate change issues. It has developed a good profile internationally; locally, member organizations have good working relationships with government agencies. We have developed a wealth of knowledge of how climate change issues and impacts relate to the broad socio-economic-political terrain in Malaysia, and what needs to be done by all sectors of Malaysian society to address the long-term problems of climate change.

Members recognize that one of the MCCGs strengths is its informality and flexibility but accept that we cannot be complacent: there is still much work to do! Public awareness of climate issues is alarmingly low, and scientific understanding of mitigation and adaptation strategies still developing.

This network of people and resources have been working both behind the scenes and on the front-lines and are active in attending international conferences, organising public talks and fora, creating informative materials, to try to mobilise as many sectors of Malaysian society as possible to address the problems of climate, both local and global.