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Astro Awani | Consider This: The Climate Change Act (Part 2) – Crafting Equitable Well-Rounded Legislation

Thursday, 18 January 2024

Astro Awani's Melisa Idris interviewed Jia Yaw on Malaysia’s potential Climate Change Act. He shared his views on how the Act should be and what should be included in its provisions.

As of November 2023, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (now Ministry of Natural Resources and Sustainability) stated that it was at the preliminary stage of drafting a Climate Change Bill. The Minister, Nik Nazmi, said that the ministry aims to table the bill in 2025 and that this delay was to ensure that the legislation was developed effectively through proper engagements with relevant stakeholders.

Previously, the former Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA) stated that it has completed a climate change legal framework in December 2021, of which the Climate Change Bill should be based on. Former Minister, Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim, stated that the bill provides an institutional framework for climate change governance, including the formation of a climate change committee. This version of the bill was expected to be completed in December 2022.

In the interview, Jia Yaw explained that Malaysia’s current laws do not have a climate change lens. Hence, they lack the holistic approach that is needed of a framework legislation to guide further law and policy developments. He emphasised that the Climate Change Act is preferred over simply amending existing laws as the latter approach would not effectively address this fragmentation problem. There is a need for a framework to anchor all sectors and to provide a broader legal and policy perspective for climate governance.

Jia Yaw also highlighted that the potential Climate Change Act needs to be framed on sustainable development, instead of mere carbon reduction. To enable this, the law should be tailored specifically to Malaysia’s climate situation with participation from the public and all important stakeholders. He calls for the government to be especially transparent in this process, as well as recognise the good efforts of setting up a Climate Change Consultation Panel.

Watch the full interview here:

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