9 June 2010
THE state government will be establishing the Selangor Green Council – a forum consisting of entrepreneurs, scientists and educators to help the state formulate green policies and initiatives, said state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong.
“The council will undertake activities to raise public awareness on climate change and the need to undertake policy shift with regards to our approaches to development. “The council, in collaboration with entrepreneurs and businesses, will also recommend the state pro-growth green initiatives,” said Wong.
“Far from hindering development, our efforts to address climate change should open a new window of opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses, not only those in the conventional sense but also social entrepreneurs whose prime motivation is to provide social goods to the community. “As the most industrialised state, Selangor must take the lead in realising Malaysia’s pledge at the Copenhagen Summit in October to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by up to 40% compared with the level of 2005.”
Wong, who is the state tourism, consumer affairs and environment committee chairman, said she would announce the details on the council later this month, including the council members and its terms of reference, which are expected to include education work and policy formulation. Wong was speaking at a talk onGreener Governance hosted by the Institute for Policy Research (IPR). IPR executive director Khalid Jaafar said the talk was aimed at making environmental issues a mainstream topic. “Climate change and environmental issues should be more widely discussed and considered when forming policies on investment, economy, and more,” he said.
Keynote speaker Dr Hartmut Grewe’s presentation covered the reasons for forming some form of environmental governance, the hybrid forms of governance and regulation, the benefits of civic incorporation, market-oriented mechanisms and multi-actor partnerships, as well as requisites for innovative state action. “Environmental issues are complex matters that must be tackled as a common effort. “The implementation of measures will require the participation and collaboration of all parties involved, including citizens and corporations,” said Dr Grewe, an Energy and Ecology consultant from Germany’s Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS).
He cited an American approach to civic environmentalism, whereby citizen participation was a key component to solving environmental problems and improving their communities. “Meanwhile, an effective environmental management training at the local government level may make a big difference in the drive towards environmental governance,” said Dr Grewe. “KAS has such a programme in South Africa that could be applicable to other regions like South-East Asia. “What is more important and more promising is a coalition of global cities and municipalities coming together for environmental issues, while also involving civil society and the community.”
Wong said the environmental management training was something the state government would like to initiate at the local council level using an NGO as a facilitator.