Today, we celebrate World Environment Day. Environmental protection is an issue close to my heart. How we protect our planet will affect not just us, but our children and grandchildren too. We must ensure we bequeath them a world worth inheriting.
The risks of climate change are well known: more intense weather, changing rainfalls and rising oceans. These changes will result in competition for new resources, territorial change and disruption to trade patterns, all of which have the potential to cause conflict between nations.
For climate vulnerable parts of the planet, global warming is already a major security threat. To drive home this point in a rather dramatic fashion, the former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, even conducted a Cabinet meeting underwater! While some parts of the world are more at risk than others, we know climate change will affects us all. Therefore, we must all become part of the solution.
Malaysia’s stance is clear. Firstly, we have a target to ensure that 50% of Malaysia remains permanent forest, to protect our country’s outstanding biodiversity. Secondly, we have pledged a 40 per cent cut in our emissions intensity by 2020, from 2005 levels, to ensure our economic growth is compatible with a stable climate – and we are on track to meet our goal.
Malaysia is already major producer of clean energy products such as solar panels and efficient LED lighting. This year, we increased funding for the Green Technology Financing Scheme by RM2 billion to incentivise the production and utilisation of green technology-based products. Moreover, with the introduction of GreenTech Malaysia’s carbon footprint (CFP) labelling scheme, consumers will soon be empowered to make an informed environmental decision about the goods and services they buy.
This World Environment Day, I would like to renew my pledge for a greener Malaysia, a legacy I can be proud of leaving not only to my children, but to the people’s children as well.
How will you be doing your part to fight climate change? Please feel free to let me know by commenting below.