Iskandar Malaysia, 25 November 2020: Iskandar Malaysia has been recognised by CDP Asia-Pacific as one of 88 regions and cities across the globe that continues to lead on environmental action despite the pressures of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. These cities, representing a combined global population of almost 125 million, reported their environmental data to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System for 2020.
“I am very pleased to acknowledge that Iskandar Malaysia has been recognised as one of the global climate leaders, as this honour is reflective of our continuous efforts in mitigating climate change at all levels. While climate change is a global issue, the solutions to the adverse impacts it has on our everyday life must start at the local level. With its active commitments in implementing and monitoring local climate actions, Iskandar Malaysia’s recognition as one of 88 on the 2020 CDP Cities A List is due to its leadership and transparency on climate action especially for its efforts to reduce Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build resilience against the impacts of climate change,” said YAB Datuk Ir. Haji Hasni Mohammad, Menteri Besar of Johor and also the Co-Chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
Designed to drive and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s A List is based on environmental data disclosed by hundreds of cities in 2020. To score an A, a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, and published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and, in the future, among other actions.
Five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, the latest climate science tells us that global emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Emissions need to decline faster and all cities need to act. According to CDP, “The cities on this year’s A List demonstrate that impactful and urgent action is possible. Although almost 40% of cities on this year’s A List did not disclose to CDP in 2015, they have fast ramped up their environmental action and ambition, setting ambitious emissions reduction targets and are building resilience against climate change. In so doing, Iskandar Malaysia and the other 87 cities have earned the title of climate leaders.”
CDP goes on to point out that “The region has been recognized for its actions to develop robust climate change strategies, track and act to limit and reduce emissions, assess and mitigate climate risks, and transparently report this information in its 2020 disclosure to CDP.”
“Cities on the A List are taking on over three times as many climate actions as others. Iskandar Malaysia has been able to achieve this through its comprehensive and robust Low Carbon Society Blueprint, plus its excellent relationship with the stakeholders who are willing to translate the blueprint into real actions,” said YBhg Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
IRDA meets regularly with the Johor State Government, the five local authorities within Iskandar Malaysia, many local agencies, businesses, communities and NGOs to produce holistic cross-sector climate planning. Through this process, the IRDA gained governmental recognition and their Blueprint was embedded in State of Johor policies across sectors. The State has also established a Johor Low Carbon Council as a platform and decision-making body to discuss, plan and monitor the Low Carbon Society programme at the state level.
Datuk Ismail added that they are also honoured and pleased that their stakeholders advocate the same aspirations as they do in executing and realising our best-planned strategies. IRDA’s successful collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Education Department, and SWM Environment Sdn Bhd in the Iskandar Malaysia Ecolife Challenge enabled them to engage with 475 schools and 47,000 students in low-carbon initiatives, across Johor.
In 2017 IRDA also instigated and facilitated the rehabilitation of the Segget River in the centre of Johor Bahru due to its high levels of pollution and flooding. A Combined Centralised Sewerage Treatment Plant was built along the river, which has – alongside the establishment of flood mitigation drainage channels – minimised the effects of flash floods, significant improvement of water quality, and reduced water pollution downstream to the Straits of Johor. They are pleased to share that there have been no flash floods since August 2018, and fish have even returned to the river and are increasing in numbers! This is testament to how their initiatives have assisted in rehabilitating and nurturing the river’s ecosystem in ensuring that we respect and motivate the viability and vitality of the Segget River. An effort that benefits not only the delicate ecology of Segget River, but also the quality of life for the surrounding communities.
The full A List of cities is published at https://www.cdp.net/en/cities/cities-scores.