Malaysia's climate strategy: Pressure global Big Six polluters, reduce local climate vulnerabilities


A family in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, being rescued during the December 2021 floods. To mitigate such effects of climate change, Malaysia should focus on climate adaptation measures such as urban greening to tackle urban heatwaves, flood mitigation and better planning to minimise the impact of the great rains, mangrove restoration and engineering works to combat coastal erosion. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

BRING on the electric vehicles, plug in your solar panels, and buy some carbon offsets. Such mainstream thinking on climate change is most reflective of the perspective of the elite and corporations of the Global North. Developing countries of the Global South mistaking these solutions for their principal climate action may find themselves unprepared to face climate vulnerabilities.

Climate change might seem like a purely technical and scientific issue of reducing pollutants – greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide – that are presenting a threat to the environment and human life via global warming. Climate action often focuses on shifting our energy sources from fossil fuels to lower-impact alternatives such as renewable energies, and halting the loss of forests and other carbon sinks that absorb carbon dioxide.

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