Americans have more to lose from getting out - Letters | The Star Online

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Americans have more to lose from getting out


THE Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD), a group of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, expresses its deepest disappointment in the United States’ decision to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement.

The US president’s intention to renegotiate modalities for their participation in the agreement smacks of cherry-picking.

As the commonly expected principles of good faith is exercised in international agreements, MYD categorically disapproves of countries selectively choosing provisions in international agreements they are willing to comply with but disregarding others.

Recalling Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, the Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). By shutting itself out of the Agree­ment, the United States is withdrawing its historical responsibility towards ensuring developing nations are dealt fairly.

Prior to President Donald Trump’s announcement, the United States had pledged US$3bil to the Green Climate Fund, with the aim of collectively mobilising US$100bil by 2020 for developing nations to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Without the financial power and leadership of the United States, the progress of reaching that goal will be slowed down.

What the United States stands to lose is international respect and the position of being a global leader in combating climate change.

MYD remains inspired by the Malaysian Government’s commitment as expressed in a recent media statement by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in response to the issue.

Malaysia’s Nationally Deter­mined Contributions (NDC) aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005, which consists of 35% on an unconditional basis and a further 10% conditional upon international support from developed countries.

While the target is commendable for a developing nation, we urge our leaders to increase our ambition as we look to become a developed nation by 2020.

The principle of Intergenerational Equity, which has been intensely highlighted in the Paris Agreement, is of paramount importance to over 1.8 billion youths around the globe.

It reflects the moral obligation of the current generation to sustainably transition our planet to future generations.

The Agreement creates more opportunities and access for youths to meaningfully contribute to climate-related decision-making processes that shape their lives.

The Agreement also creates platforms for youth to engage in important financial, social and developmental initiatives through an unparalleled global linkage.

Countries that choose to exclude themselves from this network are putting their own youth at a disadvantage.

Every country plays a pivotal role in working towards a common future.

MYD fully agrees with the sentiment of former UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres that an unprecedented wave of support for climate action has been sparked following the United States’ decision (pic).

MYD hereby stands in solidarity with the other 194, soon-to-be 193 parties, as well as young people around the world who continue to address climate change and demand a just, safe and liveable future for all.

MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION

Selangor

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