Malaysia to reduce Greenhouse Gas emission by 45%

In the days leading up to the pivotal United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 (‘COP 26’) in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October 2021 to 12 November 2021, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, announced on 11 October 2021 that Malaysia hopes to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emission across the economy by 45% based on the Gross Domestic Product in 2030.
The Prime Minister added that the commitment to reduce GHG emission by 45% was made unconditionally, and is 10% higher than the previous target set by the country. Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said the stand taken by the country would be tabled at COP 26 by Malaysia’s representatives.
The Prime Minister also said that Malaysia’s stand has been deliberated at the highest level in the country through the Malaysia Climate Change Action Council (MyCAC).
Other targets and initiatives announced by the Prime Minister are as follows: 

  • Achieving a net-zero GHG emission as early as 2050 in which the achievement is subject to findings of the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) to be finalised by the Ministry of Environment and Water (‘MOE’) by end-2022; 

  • Implementing a Domestic Emissions Trading Scheme (DETS), which will be the sole platform for the transaction of carbon credits at domestic level, through the MOE with the cooperation of the Ministry of Finance and Bursa Malaysia Berhad; 

  • Acquiring non-internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for all Government vehicles by 2030; 

  • Maintaining at least 50% of forest cover in the country; 

  • Promoting zero waste and recycling, as well as low carbon urban development; and 

  • Strengthening climate change governance in the country, including the creation of the National GHG Centre under the MOE. 
The Prime Minister also reiterated that climate change and green technology agenda is a national priority as contained in the third theme of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan.
While these commitments are welcomed to help in the global and domestic battle to reduce the adverse effects of climate change, the Government needs to step up on urgent implementation to achieve these objectives given the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s recent report being “code red for humanity”.
Alert prepared by To’ Puan Janet Looi (Partner) of the Environmental Law Practice of Skrine.

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