All hands on deck for climate crisis


Multipolar approach needed in mitigating disasters and protecting most vulnerable

GEORGE TOWN: Concerted, comprehensive and coordinated responses are needed to overcome the climate crisis, which is now deemed the biggest existential threat to mankind.

KSI Strategic Institute For Asia Pacific president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said new solutions, roping in all authorities on a global scale, must be found for climate action.

“We need to strengthen our commitment to upholding and practising the 4Ps – planet, people, prosperity and partnership – with the (additional) fifth being peace.

“Increasingly, climate action has to be a multipolar approach as the world economy pivots to multilateral growth.”

In his speech at the launch of the 2nd World Green & Sustainability Summit 2024 at JEN Penang George Town by Shangri-La Hotel yesterday, Yeoh said green technologies and innovation need to be accelerated.

“Climate finance as well as environmental, social and governances (ESG) and the circular economy should be advanced and given greater commitment,” he said.

The summit, jointly organised by World Digital Chamber, KSI Strategic Institute For Asia Pacific, World Green Organisation, the Asean Economic Club and United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei, saw the attendance of some 300 people comprising leaders of various industries.

It focused on accelerating the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promoting green transition and renewable energy as well as ESGs and the circular economy. It also promoted green investments in green cities and smart mobility.

World Green Organisation president Albert Oung said there is a need for the world to work together to find holistic solutions to combat climate change and socio-economic challenges.

“Natural disasters magnified by climate change – from wildfires to floods to droughts – have destroyed homes, livelihoods and entire ecosystems.

“These crises do not exist in isolation but are deeply interconnected, with the impact falling heaviest on the most vulnerable.”

He said it is clear that the people could no longer address these global challenges through piecemeal efforts.

“We need a comprehensive approach that recognises the complex web of social, economic and environmental factors at play. In fact, we are already in the Green Transformative Revolution.

“This means aligning our policies and best practices with universal human values of rights, justice and shared responsibility.”

Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, who officiated the summit, said the event was a timely call to action for all to uphold the 4Ps.

“Our commitment to sustainability is both a moral obligation to protect our planet and a strategic move for our future.

“Since 2019, Penang has increased the capacity of renewable energy by more than fourfold, with solar power accounting for a significant portion.

“The Penang Industrial zones’ renewable energy adoption rate within industrial zones in Penang is now at an average of 20% to 30% of the overall capacity.

“This shift has not only reduced our carbon footprint but has also created over 3,500 jobs in the renewable energy sector,” he said.

Ahmad Fuzi said several other initiatives by Penang have demonstrated its dedication to sustainable waste management and ability to make a tangible impact.

“Penang’s Waste Segregation at Source policy has been a resounding success, with recycling rates increasing by 53%.

“On Earth Day, Yayasan Amal TYT, in collaboration with the state government and other agencies as well as private sectors, achieved a milestone by planting 1,273,373 trees in one day.

“The trees planted are targeted to absorb 50,487 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in five years when they mature,” he said.

Ahmad Fuzi said in the quest for sustainability, the critical role of urban development and transportation cannot be overlooked.

“Building green cities and promoting smart mobility are critical components of sustainable urban development.

“Penang’s green building technologies and sustainable architecture have led to a 26% reduction in energy consumption in new buildings,” he said.

However, Ahmad Fuzi said there is still a lack of participation among the people.

“I still see many in the state not fully appreciating the devastating effects of climate change.

“It should be incumbent upon all of us to help overcome problems created by mankind’s greed for development at the expense of nature,” he said.

“This can be as simple as having potted plants in their condominiums.”

The day-long event featured talks by various experts on climate change as well as the presentation of World Green Excellence and Sustainability Leadership Awards to recognise those who had played their role in and contributed to the environment.

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