Press statement by Ms. Josephine Tan, General Manager of Penang Green Council

Press statement by Ms Josephine Tan, General Manager of Penang Green Council on 9th April 2021 regarding Environment Minister, YB Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s statement on 6th April 2021.

Penang Green Council is disappointed with the statement made by Environment Minister, YB Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man claiming that Malaysia will not be involved in the upcoming virtual leaders summit on climate change led by US President Joe Biden as Malaysia is not among the top greenhouse gas emitters and is not vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Climate change is a major threat to the world today especially to coastal and island cities. This is the whole world issue and hot topic of the day. Heat stress and flooding are the most serious disasters in Malaysia due to the increase of extreme rainfall for example massive flood in East Coast Malaysia.  In 2018, Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) has identified that heat stress will become a new challenge for the urban areas and we are transitioning from not being at risk to becoming endangered by 2050. A combination of increased temperature and floods will affect the wellbeing of Malaysia’s citizens and lead to cumulative economic losses too. According to the Malaysian Journal of Environmental Management, an analysis of temperature records in Malaysia shows a warming trend. For Malaysia, the temperature changes range from +0.70C to +2.60C, while precipitation changes range from -30% to +30%. Climate change in Malaysia has displayed that this phenomenon has negative impacts on human habitats such as agriculture, forests, water resources, coastal resources, health and energy sector. All these evidently shows that Climate Change is happening and the impacts are indeed experienced in Malaysia.

In March 2021, Penang Green Council introduced The Climate Change Impact on Penang paper which outlines the analyses and assessments of global warming impact to Penang. This is a paper compiled of various studies done by our local and global researchers. It is specially focusing on the climate change in Penang with the studies and explores on the potential disasters along its impacts on natural resources and public health which will leads to serious socio-economic implications. The full paper is accessible on our website (https://pgc.com.my/2020/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Climate-Change-Impacts-in-Penang.pdf)

This also comes at a critical time as our society is waking up to the crude reality of a future impacted by climate change. Although these are not a prescription of what will definitely occur but it is a strong prediction of what might happen if nothing is done. Penang Green Council welcomes everyone to access the reports to understand the issues and challenges highlighted in the report and it is crucial for us to work together in creating a more sustainable and resilient society.

The importance of sustainability and addressing the challenge of climate change is crucial and important in order to safeguard people’s lives, properties, jobs and the quality of living. No matter how big or small, how developed or underdeveloped one’s country is, we cannot escape the impacts of climate change that may occur in the near future. I hope that the Ministry of Environment and Water will not take climate change lightly and take proactive efforts to address its impacts before it’s too late. 

Josephine Tan, PGC General Manager

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