US Leaders’ Summit on Climate: Malaysia not categorised as climate vulnerable country, says minister
Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the main objective of the conference was to encourage large economies that collectively contribute 80 per cent of greenhouse gases, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Malaysia was not invited to the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in the United States (US) on April 22 and 23, as it not categorised as a country vulnerable to climate change.

Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the main objective of the conference was to encourage large economies that collectively contribute 80 per cent of greenhouse gases, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He said there were many countries that stood out in the climate change agenda such as Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand that were also not invited to attend the conference.

“The summit is a one-off event, and does not affect negotiations and resolutions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“This needs to be seen separately from the recent issue on the importation of plastic waste into Malaysia from the US,” he said in a statement, today.

Earlier, the media reported that Malaysia was not on the list of 40 countries invited to the conference, following which, allegations were made that Malaysia was not invited because the country is now often seen as a dumping ground for plastic waste.

In the meantime, Tuan Ibrahim explained that the plastics recycling industry was at present allowed to operate in the country based on the decision of the Federal government through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, which is responsible for the direction and policy of the industry.

He said the Ministry of Housing and Local Government regulates the issuance of approved permits to import only clean and uniform (homogenous) plastics, while the Department of Environment (DOE) acts as an enforcer to ensure compliance with the Basel Convention.

“In 2019, a total of 124 containers were sent back to the exporting country, while 143 containers were sent back from 2020 to March 2021. Currently, there are 81 more containers being handled by the DOE to be sent back,” he said. — Bernama