Four years is all we have by Pratch Rujivanaram at The Nation
Analysing voluntary cooperation by Piyaporn Wongruang at The Nation
How vulnerable is Singapore to climate change? By Winston Chow at The Straits Times
Reactions to Bangkok climate talks by David Fogarty at The Straits Times
Climate change in Malaysia by Shamil Nordin at South China Morning Post
WWF Warns ASEAN Banks at Viet Nam News
Social support vital to climate change recovery at Viet Nam News
HCM City to cut greenhouse gas emissions at Viet Nam News
This week, we highlight pieces at The Nation that lead the way in the most informative and up-to-date climate reporting. Vietnam News also writes some powerful news pieces on climate change and global warming, while a piece at New Naratif laments Indonesia’s progress on climate goals.
Some great work on climate change continues to come out of The Nation. In the urgent piece “Four years is all we have,” Pratch Rujivanaram highlights that the deadline for maintaining the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees will expire in four years. He also notes that “Southeast Asia [is] a strategic area in the mission to reverse climate change…a major front in the battle against the spreading use of fossil fuels but also one of the locales most vulnerable to the detrimental impacts.”
Piyaporn Wongruang assesses the capacity of the UN voluntary model to bring about the critical and urgent change needed for climate issues. A timely piece, especially considering the Bangkok talks failed to produce its intended outcome. “The Paris Agreement in 2015 was hailed around the world as a great success in climate change negotiations, as it met the core principle – common, differentiated, and respective. But what has happened in practice because of the loose commitment is a steep shortfall in collective emission cuts needed to keep the world safe,” Wongruang writes.
Also worth reading: a special report on climate change mitigation in Thailand, also by Piyaporn Wongruang.
Singapore’s Straits Times is similarly producing some great pieces on climate change, in line with the recent Bangkok Climate Change Conference. The newspaper refers to outside experts to share knowledge to their audience.
In a “Science Talk” piece, academic and professor Winston Chow examines Singapore’s vulnerability to climate change. Some highlights? Sea-level rise threatens the small island city-state, as well as increased temperatures of up to 4.6 degrees Celsius, low water levels (Singapore already imports half of its water supplies from Malaysia), and regional haze.
In another article, David Fogarty interviews experts on their reactions to the Bangkok climate talks, concluding that progress has been slow but encouraging.
In Malaysia, the focus continues to be on appointment of the new Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Yeo Bee Yin. Of note is freelance journalist Shamil Nordin’s piece published on South China Morning Post, which interviews Yeo and calls out a nation on its complacency to an urgent issue.
The Star newspaper has covered the key decisions that are being made by Yeo. Unfortunately, the newspaper’s reporting on these decisions does not expound on the connections to climate change and the implications on Malaysia’s environmental future. Still, there are some important pieces, which include an Yeo’s evaluation of the controversial Lynas power plant, and the reactivation of an agency that will reform the electricity power supply industry. Yeo has also started internal reforms within her ministry, calling for a stop in single-use plastics. The title of this piece by The Star, however, leaves much to be desired.
Viet Nam News, the national English language daily, is producing some detailed pieces on climate-related news. The newspaper reports on Ho Chi Minh city’s new Climate Change Action Plan, and ties it back to the country’s Paris Agreement NDCs. The newspaper also covered a recent consultation workshop on social assistance for climate change management. This piece summarises a new World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report on ASEAN banks’ slow response to climate change.
This piece in the new regional online publication New Naratif, covers Indonesia’s the feasibility of Indonesia’s newest climate plan. Written by veteran journalist Warief Djajanto Basorie, the piece is incisive, accessible, and detailed. Despite ambitious climate goals, and the fact Indonesia’s is the world’s 6th largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the largest contributor of forest-based emissions, the country is far behind its own plan. “Indonesia’s climate change ambitions could end up amounting to little more than a can’t-do plan. As it is, the current generation is already not on track to meet its own stipulated goals,” Warief writes.