EU launches Climate Diplomacy Week to inspire action globally

01 Oct 2022 08:30am
The Asean region records frequent and worsening floods. - AFP pic
The Asean region records frequent and worsening floods. - AFP pic

SHAH ALAM - The European Union (EU) and its Member States will launch Climate Diplomacy Week today as part of the global campaign aimed at fostering cooperation and inspiring real action for the climate.

Chairperson of Climate Governance Malaysia Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar said the climate emergency is an existential crisis that is in form by science and that slow-moving ecological systems are being affected by human activities.

“Earth simply cannot support population and economic growth at the same time, we saw 1.2 degrees of warming as reported by the United Nations Organisations (UN),” she said.

Sunita also stated that as the world record extreme weather events, there is more than a 50 per cent probability of 1.5 degrees warming in the next few years.

Food security and climate change

Associate Professor of Universiti Malaya (UM), Dr Helena Varkkey talked about how food security is closely related to climate change since Malaysia is an agricultural country.

“About 10 per cent of our society relies on agriculture. So, if anything happens to the agricultural sector, a lot of our people will lose their life dependency.

“When people talk about climate change, they will talk about melting ice and polar bears not having a place to land. So, that’s a bit difficult for us to relate in a tropical country,” the professor said.
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Varkkey further said Malaysia was experiencing extreme heat and rain with flooding a good indicator to show that things are really changing in Malaysia too.

The professor also urged everyone to start taking small personal steps to make a difference to help with climate change.

“What can we avoid doing that can be better for the climate?” she questioned.

“When you think about it in small and bite-size pieces like this, you can actually build up to something bigger and it will become part of your habits and natural lifestyle.

“During our lifetime, we made it worse. So, we don’t want to leave that legacy as we go,” she urged.

Meanwhile, Programme Director of EcoKnights, Fadly Bakhtiar highlighted on the importance of voluntarism.

“We go and clean up public spaces, people look at it as a weird thing and when more people know that it is normal to do that, then eventually society will start to change,” he said.

In a separate report, Climate Governance Malaysia collaborated with European Union on many occasions and the latest was the Hybrid Webinar, EU Malaysian Dialogue, Fighting climate change with the market mechanism.

Climate Governance Malaysia has reached out to bosses and directors of companies to remind them of their legal duties and responsibilities to promote resilience and sustainability.

“The European Union is significant as the most top influential top leaders. They take their responsibilities and commitments very seriously.

“It is our responsibility to ensure climate literacy, to manage and mitigate climate risk and also to see opportunities in this existential crisis,” Sunita Rajakumar added.