Global climate change governance crucial

AMY EZREEN
04 Jul 2022 08:30pm
Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar (third from right) during the launch of Nomura Asset Management Malaysia’s first Global Sustainable Equity Fund.
Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar (third from right) during the launch of Nomura Asset Management Malaysia’s first Global Sustainable Equity Fund.
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SHAH ALAM – Global governance is crucial in the fight against climate change and promoting global decarbonisation.

Director and chairman of Climate Governance Malaysia Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar said the governance process were placed at numerous levels and by a variety of actors, including cities, businesses, civil society organisations, national governments, as well as supra- and international organisations, action has been done on climate change.

She said it was vital for Malaysia to be aware of the scientific consensus of climate change where the average global temperatures would rise as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the change in annual weather patterns to a frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

“Despite being too close to the equator to be affected by hurricanes, cyclones, or typhoons, Malaysia appears spared by the most extreme weather.

“However, the country is already facing a triple danger from climate change to its Covid-19-weakened economy,” she said during the launch of Nomura Asset Management Malaysia’s first Global Sustainable Equity Fund.

She added that climate change's direct effects were the first of these risks.

She cited the 2014-2015 Northeast Monsoon flood that wreaked havoc in 11 of the country's 13 states, killing 24 people and uprooting hundreds of thousands of others.

The disaster saw over RM5 billion worth of damage was done over Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak.

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Since then, less severe yet equally destructive floods have occurred every year, killing lives and causing billions of ringgit in losses and damage, not to mention lost productivity and wasted opportunities.

“Malaysia's reliance on international trade as a source of food imports and a market for finished goods poses a second concern.

“Approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes of wheat, almost 4 million metric tonnes of corn, and 1.5 million metric tonnes of soybeans are imported by Malaysia each year,” Sunita said.

Panelists from the public, private, and non-profit sectors participated in discussions on the topic of examining a sustainable low-emissions pathway.

During the event on Wednesday (June 29), Nomura Asset Management Malaysia Sdn Bhd said it was aiming to achieve RM50 million in assets under management (AUM) for its inaugural Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund.

Its managing director and country head Leslie Yap said the new addition was set to improve local investor access and cater to the growing demand for impact investing.

“Our goal is to offer our clients more opportunities and ways to invest according to their principles, achieve their investment goals as well as to generate positive impact.

“We believe we can do so by providing long-term value with quality solutions that combine environment, social and governance (ESG) and Shariah principles,” he had said.

Globally, Yap said Nomura Asset Management has allocated approximately US$600 million (about RM2.64 billion) into ESG funds and expects the trend to increase over the years, given encouraging demand from investors.

In a separate statement, Nomura said it was actively integrating and progressing towards its six impact goals as part of its commitment to grow the universe of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) companies globally.

This includes mitigating climate change, natural capital depreciation and obesity, eliminating communicable diseases, and providing global access to clean drinking water and basic financial services, which in turn are all aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.