The Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW 2023), an annual event that brings together leaders from government, businesses, international organisations, and civil society to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the growing consequences of the climate crisis, began on Monday, 13 November 2023, in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
The APCW 2023, hosted by the Malaysian government, is the fourth Regional Climate Week to be held this year. It gathers momentum ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai and the end of the first Global Stocktake, which aims to map out how to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and provide region-specific input to inform the Global Stocktake.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank are organising APCW 2023, with assistance from regional partners.
At the opening ceremony, Permaisuri of Johor, Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, officiated the Johor Sustainability Centre (Sustainable Johor) and witnessed the launch of the Johor Green Deal.
Johor also saw the signing of 14 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), valued at some RM180 million, to bolster and champion the state’s local and regional sustainability agenda.
Menteri Besar of Johor, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, witnessed the MoU together with the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change of Malaysia, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Niclas Svenningsen, Programme Coordinator Manager for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“We (the Malaysia government) realise the need to ramp up our efforts. This year alone, our esteemed Prime Minister launched the National Energy Transition Roadmap and the National Industrial Master Plan, which charts the path in our journey toward a net-zero future. Furthermore, we remain firm in transforming our energy system through electrification, energy efficiency and accelerated Renewable Energy (RE) deployment,” Nik Nazmi said in the opening speech for APCW 2023.
“The Asia-Pacific Climate Week is not just any other event, but it holds immense significance in the context of our global challenges. The APCW plays a pivotal role in driving worldwide climate change discussions, policies, and actions. It serves as a catalyst for positive global change and Johor intends to learn from it; and more importantly, to be a part of that catalyst for change. Johor is ready,” Onn Hafiz said in his statement for APCW 2023 opening ceremony.
“I am both honoured and delighted that Johor is hosting such a pivotal event which demonstrates and reaffirms Johor’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and green initiatives while simultaneously providing a platform for scientists, policymakers and practitioners to deliberate on climate matters ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 28 in Dubai,” Her Majesty, the Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah stated in her Johor Sustainable Centre and Johor Green Deal’s officiation speech.
She also hopes that Johor’s commitment and leadership in hosting this event will pave the way for collaboration with other Malaysian states and countries in the Asia-Pacific region in addressing the challenges of a global climate crisis.
Around 2,000 delegates from more than 100 countries are attending the five-day forum, where delegates from governments, policymakers, and experts are meeting to discuss best practises, develop partnerships, and advance regional climate priorities and expectations.
The outcomes of APCW 2023 will lead to the first global stocktake at COP28 (The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in December this year.
More than 300 speakers will address climate issues in four major systems-based tracks: energy systems and technology; urban and rural development, infrastructure, and transportation; land use, oceans, food, and water; and socioeconomic dimensions, health, and livelihoods.
The forum with multiple discussions would take place until 17 November 2023, Friday. Registration is still open and interested parties may register at https://indico.un.org/event/1005215/.