ISKANDAR MALAYSIA HOSTS GLOBAL COVENANT OF MAYORS (GCOM) FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY: Over 100 global participants trained to combat climate change

ISKANDAR MALAYSIA, THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2019: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the Secretariat of Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) are hosting the inaugural GCoM event here in Iskandar Malaysia, a global leader in climate action today. The 3-day-event is a follow-up of the outreach event that took place at the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Kuala Lumpur in February 2018 and the first of four trainings to be implemented in Malaysia during 2019. 

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (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. As a contribution to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the European Union (EU) is supporting the implementation of the GCoM in Asia and other regions of the world through the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme.

According to YB Tuan Tan Hong Pin, Chairman of State Local Government, Science and Technology Committee, “it is indeed a very proud moment for Iskandar Malaysia and the State of Johor that GCOM has decided to hold its global event here in Iskandar Malaysia”. 

“We will ensure significant involvement together with the over 9,000 cities around the world in the fight against global warming and climate change,” said YB Tuan Tan Hong Pin.

Iskandar Malaysia’s development continues to be guided by the Circle of Sustainability, a holistic and resilient ecosystem where economic, social and environmental agendas are of equal importance and receive equal attention.

“With this in mind, the Iskandar Malaysia Low Carbon Society (LCS) Blueprint was developed to reduce Iskandar Malaysia’s carbon intensity by 58% by 2025 compared to the 2005 level; and create a greener, more sustainable yet economically dynamic environment.

“What this means is that while Iskandar Malaysia focuses on attracting investments for the region’s economic development, we will also ensure that these investments have a positive spill-over effect to the local communities, to ensure that no one is left behind, and at no expense to the environment,” said Datuk Ismail Ibrahim.

Since June 2011, IRDA has teamed up with a number of leading Japanese and Malaysian research institutions for the LCS Blueprint namely UTM, Kyoto University, Okayama University and National Institute of Environmental Studies. This blueprint is one of the main outputs of Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) under the “Development of Low Carbon Society Scenarios for Asian Region” research project, funded by JICA and the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

“Of course, when it comes to environment, we take special pride in mentioning that some of our extensive environmental efforts continue to receive global recognition as reflected in our participation at several Conference of Parties (COP) events and recently at the 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Meeting in Parramatta, Australia. We also won the ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Okayama Award 2018’ from Okayama City in Japan. In October last year, Iskandar Malaysia again became the location the 4th International Conference on Low Carbon in Asia, bringing people from all over the world to Johor Bahru to discuss climate actions.” said Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of IRDA.

YBhg Datuk Ismail Ibrahim reiterates the importance of trans-agency and transboundary cooperation in achieving Iskandar Malaysia’s environmental goals. Datuk Ismail pointed out the “need to learn from others, leveraging on each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and to work together to be more effective in managing climate-related and environmental issues. This should be done across the whole process from planning to implementation.”

The GCOM training provided for up to 60 representatives from local governments and authorities in Malaysia. The activity is supported by the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) Asia and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC).  The event is also fully supported by the UCLG ASPAC (United Cities and Local Government in Asia-Pacific), the CDP Network, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and UN Habitat.

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