Friday, August 28, 2009

Climate Sustainability Platform held in Malaysia Challenges the Current Climate Negotiations

A Climate Sustainability Training Workshop and the 1st Climate Sustainability PLATFORM meeting in Malaysia was conducted on 27th August 2008 in Petaling Jaya by Mr. Uchita de Zoysa of the Centre for Environment Development. The one day event brought representatives from representative's consumer organizations and networks in Malaysia. The event was a joint programme between the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Organizations (FOMCA), ERA Consumer, Global Sustainability Solutions (GLOSS) and the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Sri Lanka.

The main objective of the programme as to sensitive consumer protection leaders in Malysia on critical climate issues to be debated at the upcoming UNFCCC COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. de Zoysa introduced the subject in an introductory presentation themed "The Climate Challenge According to IPCC & the Scientific Community" which covered subjects including observed changes in climate, causes of climate change, impacts of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, cost of delaying action and the path ahead.

In his keynote presentation themed 'Right to Development in a Climate Change Agenda' de Zoysa challenged the current approach to handling the climate change negotiations and stressed that climate sustainability needs to be pursued as a way of breaking the impasse between climate responsibility and right to development. While climate change is presented as the greatest challenge faced by humanity, half of the world remains in poverty which makes the world wander what are the priorities of the international governance. De Zoysa concluded that we need to go beyond mitigation and adaptation debates and address Equity” based world order where global policies are designed to ensure equitable opportunities. He challenged that the western approach of efficiency based development paradigms would only prolonge the problems and proposed that Asia retracts back to ‘Sufficiency’ as in self-reliance & contentment. He stressed that the key objective of all agreements should be towards creating ‘Peace, Happiness & Wellbeing’ and the way to do it was by creating ‘Mindfulness’ to promote right livelihood and not consumerist lifestyles.

The platform was also addressed by leading Malaysian consumer activist Datuk Marimutu Nadasan who said that Malaysia needs to formulate a national climate change policy very soon. He was critical of the development path in Malaysia which is creating more consumerist lifestyles and said that consumers too should become more mindful and that climate change should commence first with the approach of "change in me first". The participants discussed the Malaysian climate challenge and planned strategies to create a consumer movement based climate campaign with immediate effect.

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