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8 In 10 Malaysians Are Alarmed & Concerned About Climate Change In Malaysia

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Right now, world leaders, climate scientists, and policymakers from across the globe are in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, for the Conference of Parties (COP 27). This is the largest climate change conference in the world, and it coincides with a Monash University Malaysia survey led by Dr Azliyana Azhari from the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) that has shown that 8 in 10 Malaysians are either alarmed or concerned about climate change.

This survey is the first of its kind in Malaysia and saw over 1000 respondents. According to Dr Azhari the “survey aims to gauge Malaysia’s public perception and understanding on climate change and climate change impacts, alongside understanding the Malaysian audience’s behavioural responses towards climate change issues.”

Dr Azliyana Azhari, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH)

Here’s what the takeaway messages are about what the Malaysian public knows about climate change and climate action. According to the survey, 97% of Malaysians are aware of climate change and understand it is happening. 82% know that human activities cause climate change. 32% believe climate change is presently causing harm to our daily lives, and 35% believe that climate change will cause harm to the Malaysian population within the next decade.

The survey also noted individual actions and the willingness to change.

  • 65% bring their own shopping bags when buying groceries.
  • 63% have switched to environmentally friendly products.
  • 79% turn off electrical appliances and lights when not in use to reduce home energy.
  • The most common waste management behaviours are recycling (67%) and not openly burning trash (68%).

The behaviours with the most significant proportion of people open to change are taking part in an environmental/climate change campaign (63% would like to or are planning to do this), installing household solar hot water or panels (79% would like to or are planning to do this), and composting kitchen waste (51% would like to or are planning to do this).

With the growing occurrence of extreme weather events resulting from climate change, such as storms, floods, and droughts, at least 60% of Malaysians say that they have been affected directly or indirectly by these events, which leads to affecting their daily lives, health and economic well-being. It is not surprising that Malaysians are getting concerned and alarmed. These findings are stark and timely as the Malaysian delegation meets world leaders at COP 27 to work towards the reduction of Malaysia’s carbon emissions.

About Monash University Malaysia

Established in 1998, Monash University Malaysia is the third-largest campus of Australia’s largest University and the first foreign university campus in Malaysia. Monash University is a premier research-intensive Australian University ranked 44th in the world by the prestigious Times Higher education World University Rankings 2023. A self-accrediting university, the campus offers a distinctly international and culturally rich environment with approximately 9,400 students from 78 different countries.

Monash Climate Change Communication Research Node

The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) Malaysia Node was established in 2021. It is led by the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) at Monash University Malaysia in collaboration with the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH). It is dedicated to researching climate communications in Southeast Asia. The node brings together expertise in SASS with collaborators in the School of Science in Malaysia campus and the existing team in MCCCRH.

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