Yeo: At least 24 months for Climate Change Act to be tabled if necessary

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin at a press conference in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin at a press conference in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 16 — Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin today said that the ministry would need two years before a Climate Change Act is tabled in Parliament to be passed into law should the need become necessary.

Yeo said the main impact of the Act should it come into effect, will be to institutionalise climate change action across businesses and private sectors.

“The full details on whether there is a need for the Act will be based on the first phase of our scoping studies.

“By January 2020, we will have a rough outcome from our first phase of collaboration between the government of the United Kingdom (UK) on climate change,” she told reporters during a press conference at her ministry here.

Earlier, Yeo witnessed the letter of exchange ceremony between her ministry and government representatives from the UK to collaborate on climate change and low carbon initiatives under the United Kingdom Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions Cooperation.

Yeo stressed that different countries have different concepts in terms of climate change and whether there was a necessity for a Climate Change Act.

“For Malaysia, we will not just focus on decarbonising but also adaptation as we are a developing country.

“We must be resilient towards all the negative impacts of climate change and that has got to be institutionalised regardless of who becomes the government of the day so that we have this piece of law to protect the people,” she added.

On the collaboration with the UK, Yeo said the government would like to work together in terms of knowledge sharing pertaining to the need for a Climate Change Act.

“We would like to learn the lessons, the path they have taken and perhaps the mistakes we can now avoid,” she said.

In 2008, the UK government introduced the Climate Change Act in a bid to avoid dangerous climate change, with ministers given powers to introduce the measures necessary to achieve a range of greenhouse gas reduction targets.

“Earlier this week we witnessed the highest level of carbon dioxide emission in the world’s history and therefore climate change is not very far in the future but very near.

“The question to us is whether Malaysia is ready for it,” Yeo added.

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin (centre) at a ceremony for the collaboration in Climate Change and Low Carbon Initiatives in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin (centre) at a ceremony for the collaboration in Climate Change and Low Carbon Initiatives in Putrajaya May 16, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

She said the four-year collaboration through the ministry’s agency, Malaysia Green Technology Corporation, was aimed at strengthening, promoting and developing climate change and low carbon transition collaboration between two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

“In every opportunity, there is a danger as the world now faces climate change crisis,” she said before listing out four focus areas throughout the collaboration.

The areas are institutional framework in terms of mitigation and adaptations, capacity building, legal framework scoping studies for a Climate Change Act and Malaysia’s Carbon Calculator.

Yeo hopes through the four-year collaboration between the UK government, Malaysia would be able to emerge as climate change pioneers in the Asean region and subsequently render its expertise to neighbouring countries.

British Special Representative for Climate Change Nick Bridge also stressed the urgency and scale of climate change, pointing out that the problem could only be tackled by working together.

“I am honoured and delighted that the minister has accepted the engagement with UK authorities and expert in the years to come. We are committed to making a difference in this project,” he said.