KOTA KINABALU (Aug 15): Kota Kinabalu must take the lead in climate actions for the cities in Sabah and set an example for other cities in Malaysia to emulate, said Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Abidin Madingkir.
He said the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) is looking into several smart city projects, the use of Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (Casbee) for green building assessment, and renewable energy projects such as the mini-hydro project at Kiansom Waterfalls with Toyoma City of Japan.
He said DBKK also wants to do a comprehensive study to track the city’s carbon footprint.
Abidin said DBKK and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI) had co-prepared the Kota Kinabalu Green City Action Plan in 2019, which is recognized as a Climate Action Plan by virtue of membership of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM).
He said DBKK had already started implementing some of the programmes through ongoing public programmes including Love KK initiatives via its seven components comprising of Clean KK, Green KK, Beautiful KK, Heritage KK, Vibrant KK, Liveable KK and Healthy KK, in partnership with the private sector.
Abidin said that when officiating at the GCoM: National Workshop on Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Climate Finance here on Monday.
The GCoM is a platform for international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society.
At the state level, he said Sabah needs to do more sustainable development projects while improving project procurement, increasing energy efficiency, future-proofing structures, streamlining regulations and empowering consumers to do more.
He said Sabah is determined to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, explore new low carbon and green growth paths and get fresh ideas from GCoM through the sustainable energy and climate actions.
He said Malaysian climate experts – Professor Dr Ho and his team from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – are going to guide the participants about climate mitigation, adaptation and risk assessment using the European Union’s (EU) climate action tools.
“Through their expert guidance, Malaysia has produced four climate actions plans for Penampang, Tawau, Muar and Hang Tuah Jaya in Melaka state.”
He said Sabah and Sarawak and the other states of Malaysia must be ready to do the changes necessary to reduce our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target to cut our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005.
At the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, Malaysia reiterated its commitment to maintain at least 50 per cent of the country under forest cover, he said.
“Fifty per cent of that cover is in the states of Sabah and Sarawak.
“These two large states have a big stake in the climate future of Malaysia.”
In 2021, Abidin said Sabah had set up the Climate Change Action Council to discuss and address climate change policies, to drive green economic growth, catalyse green technology and for Sabah to follow a low-carbon green growth path.
He stressed that Sabah is committed to conserving and protecting our beautiful and untouched natural environment.
“Sabah is in line with the national climate aspiration relating to climate mitigation and adaptation.
“Climate change is one of the key aspects in the Sabah Maju Jaya policy and implementation document; and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure that the Sabah environment will not be degraded because of development activities.”
On the three-day workshop, Abdin said the programme will strengthen the GCoM and enable members from Malaysia to voice their concern on global warming.
He said the workshop also enabled participants to learn from climate experts and exchange ideas on how to reduce the emission of harmful gases that are detrimental to the environment.
Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Noorliza Awang Alip said it is high time for Kota Kinabalu to play an active role in issues relating to climate.
She said flooding and landslides are among the critical environmental issues the city is currently facing.
“We hope that by being active in GCoM, we can come up with frameworks in terms of looking at policies and infrastructure developments of the city.
“We hope this will be a jump start for the city to be more active in addressing environmental changes.”
The event also saw the signing ceremony of Sibu Municipal Council, Penang City Council and Kapit District Council as new GCoM member cities in Malaysia.
Also present was EU Ambassador to the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, Michalis Rokas.