Folks, it’s bad news from the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen as the nations of the world failed to agree on a common platform to reduce the threat.
There is no Copenhagen climate treaty. History was not made; no deal was sealed. This is the grim situation, at a glance:
Najib has committed Malaysia to a 40 per cent cut (compared to the 2005 level) in emissions by 2020. The Pakatan parties, on the other hand, unveiled their common policy framework, which promised to “reduce carbon emission rate to conform with international standards” and to build the foundation for a smooth transition to alternative energy resources.
But in the same week they pledged all this, the deputy sports minister, representing Najib, unveiled the Malaysian-backed Lotus Team drivers for the coming high-octane Formula One season, while over in Penang, street circuit races were revived with the holding of the Petronas Cub Prix at the Esplanade over the weekend. Are these politicians for real? It is as if Malaysians live on a different planet, where rhetoric and reality never meet, where climate chaos will never encroach into our comfort zones.
Part of the problem is that we have been kept in the dark on the key issues surrounding climate change, while a small minority are in denial mode. The other reason is that many of us seem to value unsustainable corporate-led economic growth above environmental protection. This is a piece I wrote for IPS:
Malaysia recorded 187 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2006, according to U N Millennium Development Goal indicators. That puts it in third place in the South-east Asian region behind Indonesia (333 million tonnes) and Thailand (273 million tonnes), with Vietnam (106 million tonnes) in fourth place.
On a per capita basis, a different picture emerges. With 7.2 tonne of CO2 per capita, Malaysia is still the third highest emitter in South-east Asia. Brunei tops the list at 15.5 tonnes per capita, followed by Singapore with 12.8 tonnes. Thailand (4.3 tonnes) and Indonesia (1.5 tonnes) occupy fourth and fifth places respectively. Full article here.