PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will start drafting a Climate Change Act and aims to complete and announce a national climate change adaptation and mitigation plan by the end of next year, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said.
The Act, which will take up to 30 months to be drafted, will include a list of scenarios the country will face should global temperature rise by 2 deg C.
Ms Yeo also said a climate change centre would be set up by next year.
"Next year is going to be an exciting one for Malaysia's climate change efforts," she told The Star on the sidelines of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland.
She said adaptation measures on climate change were important for a small country like Malaysia but were overlooked by the previous administration.
"The government will start new initiatives in climate change adaptation. We're working on the Climate Change Act, which will take about 24 to 30 months before tabling it in Parliament," said Ms Yeo.
"The Act is important so that we institutionalise climate change action in government as well as business processes."
Ms Yeo said that because climate change adaption planning needed to start with the right data, the ministry would be developing a comprehensive risk analytic simulating scenarios with a rise of 2 deg C.
"For example, how will it affect our shorelines, food chain, ecosystem and others when the global temperature increase by 2 deg C compared to pre-industrial level," she said.
The Climate Change Act in Britain set legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country by at least 80 per cent by the year 2050 from 1990 levels.
Negotiations are ongoing at the UN Climate Conference to hammer out a "work programme" or a "rule book" to implement commitments under the Paris Agreement, which is to limit the rise in the global average surface temperature to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
This year is the deadline for the rule book to be adopted.
Malaysia, said Ms Yeo, needed to anticipate the negative effects of climate change and to take appropriate action in preventing or minimising damage from changing rain patterns, rising mean sea levels (coastal floods), and more frequent extreme weather events.
"Because of this, our infrastructure and building codes must be adapted to meet unpredictable weather conditions," she said, adding that Malaysia also needed to optimise its scarce water sources, examine risks related with the country's ecosystem and evaluate and manage its health and food systems.
Ms Yeo is scheduled to deliver Malaysia's national statements at the UN conference on Wednesday (Dec 12).