Rabu, 20 Januari 2010

G-Economy, Back to the Future

By Bashirah Mohd Bashir

Sustainable development, renewable energy or green living; whatever name we call it, is all
about leaving at least what we have for our children. I may call it ‘Green Economy’. From
banana leaf wrapped nasi lemak to emission of Greenhouse gases, it is all about Green
Recent Copenhagen negotiations among 190 countries on a new deal to fight climate change
beyond 2012 ended with “unbinding agreement” paving the way for “future climate”. It is
very disheartening to see countries with power doing what they do at times. Industrialised
nations should help the undeveloped countries by at least quantifying gains they make from
environmentally harmful business and channel the funds to promote and develop green
innovation to ensure future environmental sustainability.
What is important to control the climate change is the initiative of the world to focus on
needs and not luxury. Funds pledged could be spent on so many things, ranging from creating
awareness, giving incentives to renewable energy, agricultural development, sustainable
living, criminalising war, reversing the way we live to how we lived... the list can go on.
Our Prime Minister realises that green technology will be the new driver for economic
growth and promotes development of green technologies and a culture of resource use
optimisation. The vision 2020, targeted GDP can be achieved by being an agro based nation
or environment friendly industrialised nation rather than being a mere pollutant based
industrialised nation. It just takes political will and the people's support. From plastic bags to
power plants everything can be made green when we want to make it. Sectors like
agricultural R&D, sustainable energy and green education should be concentrated.
We should change the way we think and the way we approach issues of concern. For
instance, urging people to stop smoking but having them in the market is totally on the
contrary. If the authorities really care about the adverse effects of smoking, they should
devise ways to stop the smoking habits of its people instead of boasting concern it has for the
health and habits of its citizens by imposing higher taxes and gaining from compromised
health of the people. We should treat the disease and not the symptom. Spend it on rehab,
counselling instead of taxing people’s health. After all, smoking also emits CO2.
We should not put a cold patch on the globe for a temporary solution; we should make it
healthy from the inside, just like what we do with ourselves. Measures must be taken more
intensively to make the world green and stop racing for destructive technological
advancement. We must address the problem of the poor with agro based global drive - the
basic survival needs met, minus the ego. Producers and manufacturers in their respective
fields should come up with an environment friendly solution or alternative for their products;
like the use of well-packaged serai wangi as pest repellent instead of traditional pesticides.
We should look at the current climate demands as an indicator for an economic
transformation not as a crisis. Let’s take renewable energy for instance; Malaysia can be a
world leader in renewable energy applications as we have committed to do something to
address climate change. Malaysia has abundant resources important for sustainable energy. In
Malaysia, bureaucratic hindrances have become lesser to accommodate the development of
small renewable energy program (SREP). Although so much power potential from
environmental friendly resources are available, there are still many major key barriers and
challenges that need to be addressed and overcome such as; consistent feedstock, electricity
tariff, renewable energy power purchasing agreement, support from financial institutions and
grants for development costs.
Promoting Green Economy is important given the very significant environmental, economic,
and social benefits. It should not be perceived only as a way to create cleaner environment; it
must also be seen as a stable and healthy economy. To develop our nation to become a more
sustainable economy we have to do more with less by being more resource efficient, planning
smart investments, encourage stability and competition, build up skills and reward efforts

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