The Malaysian Youth Delegation hosted the annual Retreat at EPIC Collective over the weekend of the 28th and 29th April 2018. New members were asked to reflect the activities they took part in, what they learned along the way, and what they took away from the experience. Here’s what our new members had to say:
By Sharun Beream Nasir
The retreat event began with some introduction on what the Malaysian Youth Delegation stands and strives for. Then, we were filled in with more information on the other organisations that were striving for the similar aim as well such as YOUNGO and CAN. Through this session I was exposed to the efforts that were being put in order to achieve climate justice globally and especially through the voice of youths.
Moving on, we had a talk by a WWF representative who briefed us on the current state of Malaysia’s environmental policies and shared her experience when she attended the UNFCCC conference. The talk was an insightful session for me, as I learned a lot of information and had the opportunity to understand the perspectives of different stakeholders regarding the climate issues and negotiations. Throughout the talk, some of the key issues that act as barriers in achieving the solution to mitigate climate change were discussed. The barriers include having too many policies, but less framework that results into a less effective implementation of those policies. Other than that, setting the wrong parameters such as the GDP to measure the progress of climate change mitigation in a country is of yet another flaw.
After that, we had a talk from a representative of the CETDEM company. The talk introduced efforts that are being taken in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in Malaysia by providing the required technology to the TENAGA Berhad company. Last but not least, the day was ended with a great documentary that spurred the spirit in us to make this Malaysian Youth Delegation journey more meaningful and successful.
On the next day, we had a long talk on the history of UNFCCC where I gained new knowledge on the happenings at a global scale when it comes to negotiations between countries. Here we were introduced to the role of global north and global south countries and the progress of climate policies that were either ratified or have failed to be ratified. After that, we had several talks on the experiences of the MYD youth delegators at the last UNFCCC conference. Through the talk I learnt of the hardships and endurance that many individuals had to go through in making the conference a beneficial and productive meeting in the end.
Till this date, we still do not have a strong commitment to combat climate change be it at global or regional scale although the threshold of not exceeding a further 1.5°C of global warming is now approaching us at an alarming state. According to what I have learned, climate change is believed to be a wicked problem as the issue is acknowledged by almost everyone, but the response toward it being rather dim because it is not considered to be as alarming as other natural disasters such as tsunamis or hurricanes. The ‘short-sightedness’ in people to foresee this now approaching calamity is to be blamed on our society. Regardless of all the available information that keep reminding the human nation to act towards the combat against climate change, many of us are unfortunately, choosing to stay heedless.
Since the anthropogenic activities in 1800s, we are now left with a tight carbon budget that will certainly not sustain for any longer with the current greenhouse gas emission that we are putting out. However, by looking at the efforts being put in by nowadays youth by taking part in major conferences such as the UNFCCC, it has really proved to me that we are determined to make a change by taking part in the climate justice journey.