MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION STATEMENT
ON UNITED STATES WITHDRAWAL FROM PARIS AGREEMENT
The Malaysian Youth Delegation (MYD) expresses their deepest disappointment in the United States’ decision to withdraw from the UNFCCC Paris Agreement. The United States 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 their historical responsibility towards ensuring developing nations are dealt fairly. Prior to President Trump’s announcement, the United States had pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, with the aim of collectively mobilising $100 billion 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, it slows the progress of reaching that goal. 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, dated 2 June 2017, by Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, YB Dato Sri’ Wan Junaidi Bin Tuanku Jaafar, in response to the issue. Malaysia's Nationally Determined Contributions 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 demand our leadership 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 the 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 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Ms. Christiana Figueres, that an unprecedented wave of support for climate action has been sparked following the United States’ decision. 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.
ABOUT THE MALAYSIAN YOUTH DELEGATION (MYD)
A group of young passionate Malaysians who represent the local youth climate movement at international climate conferences, such as the annual Conference of the Parties, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Dedicated to raising awareness of climate policies amongst Malaysians, the youth are mentored and trained to translate technical policies into more relevant and relatable information for the public. MYD holds speaking engagements with various climate organisations to better understand the current landscape of local and international climate policy. With that, MYD endeavours to hold Malaysian leaders accountable for the promises made at international climate summits.
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Date: 5 June 2017