Climate change and global warming can no longer be viewed lightly. Its effects are real and Malaysians are not spared from feeling the effects of it. Our drought seasons are prolonged, as our rainy seasons too. We suffer from water supply crises in some states as well as one of the worst floods the country has seen in decades.
Fighting climate change is an on-going effort that must be led by the Government and undertaken and supported by everyone in the country. The Government is ready to address this issue head on – Malaysia intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 relative to the emissions intensity of GDP in 2005. This consists of 35% on an unconditional basis and a further 10% is condition upon receipt of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building from developed countries.
Together with 181 countries, we have submitted the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the UN Climate Change Conference, currently ongoing in Paris, reaffirming our stand and commitment in fighting climate change.
Since the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010), Malaysia has started initiatives to increase the share of use of non-fossil fuel energy. The National Biofuel Policy 2006 already laid the groundwork for the development and use of biofuels.
The 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) saw a focus on sustainable growth and introducing mitigation strategies to reduce emissions of GHG. We have introduced three significant financial tools to promote sustainability measures – the introduction of a feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan (2010) to help finance renewable energy investment, providing fiscal incentives and funding for green technology investments and promoting projects eligible for carbon credits. In addition to these, two major initiatives were launched for the forestry sector, the Central Forest Spine (CFS) and Heart of Borneo (HOB) to ensure sustainable forest management and use of natural resources.
Under the 10th Malaysia Plan alone, Malaysia has spent RM51 billion to enhance resilience against climate change that includes addressing flood risks, water security, food security, protecting coastlines and health. But we have not done enough – the United Nations data showed that Malaysia ranked 26th worldwide in 2012 when it came to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion.
The 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) saw policies that will further focus on pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience. The measures will include strengthening the enabling environment for green growth, adoption of sustainable consumption and production, conserving natural resources and strengthening resilience against climate change and natural disasters. We remain steadfast and committed in our mission to reduce Malaysia’s carbon footprint.
This new target shall not and should not be seen as an impediment to our economic development. Indeed, I believe, our green policies and initiatives will also bring many opportunities – catalysing new industries and ancillary businesses that will bring new employment opportunities.
As a country, we must play our part in fighting climate change and help prevent the average global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. It is our social and moral obligation to ensure that our sons and daughters will be able to enjoy the world as we see it today. Malaysia must play its responsible role in the necessary global transformation for a more sustainable world.