Roadmap to cutting emissions

Posted on November 29, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Economics |

-The Star-

Govt pledges reduction in emissions intensity of GDP up to 40%

The Star will be featuring a series of articles in conjunction with the StarBiz-ICRM Corporate Responsibility Awards. The awards is the result of a partnership between The Star and Institute of Corporate Responsibility Malaysia, supported by the Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia Bhd. Its working partners are PricewaterhouseCoopers and Securities Industry Development Corp, while the official sponsor is Canon Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak‘s pledge to reduce carbon emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) up to 40% by 2020 shows how serious Malaysia is in tackling the issue.

His commitment has set the wheels in motion with the establishment of a short-term roadmap to guide the voluntary reduction in emissions intensity of GDP by up to 40% based on 2005 levels by 2020, conditional on technology transfer and financing from developed countries.

This roadmap addresses the possible activities in three key sectors energy efficiency, renewable energy and solid waste management to achieve the target.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said although there were many other emitting sectors, the focus was on the three areas as they were considered low hanging fruits or low implementation cost.

Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah Embas … ‘The private sector has a very big role to play to help the country achieve the 40% target.’

We can reduce some nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent annually for the energy efficiency sector by 2020.

In the renewable energy sector, we are confident we can lower carbon emissions by 11 million tonnes and solid waste management by 25 million tonnes, he told StarBiz.

The total reductions will make up some 45 million tonnes versus the 38 million tonnes required annually to achieve the 40% target.

The short-term roadmap has been approved by the Cabinet last year, Douglas said.

Currently, under renewable energy, the oil palm sector alone is responsible for reducing 19 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy efficiency measures currently account for about 4.5 million tonnes and tree plantings from April to July of about five million trees will account for another 0.5 million tonnes by 2020.

This brings the current accounting to about 24 million tonnes or 64% of the 38 million tonnes required.

However, carbon emission reductions that have been sold as carbon credits are not included in the calculations.

According to Douglas, the carbon emission reduction was achieved via the use of oil palm husk fibre or mesocarp for renewable energy as well as having energy efficient buildings such as the Green Technology Corp building under the efficient energy sector, among others.

We are also looking at a detailed roadmap covering all sectors in the long term. We will start on the roadmap for 2020 onwards next year. The detailed, long-term roadmap is anticipated by the end of 2012, Douglas said.

He added that there would be an inception report out in December to compile and assess the achievements in terms of carbon emission reduction in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and solid waste management sectors and also to highlight the broad range of actions going forward.

The private sector has a very big role to play to help the country achieve the 40% target.

It will have to acquire new technology, build up human resources to manage this technology and to source for private financing.

The ministry will continue to engage all parties so that they are aware of the Government’s policies, roadmap and direction, he said.

In addition, the National Policy on Climate Change which took two years to formulate was approved by the Cabinet at the end of last year and launched this year.

Douglas said the document would be a guideline for all Malaysians to play their part in tackling issues on climate change.

It is a very comprehensive policy. It addresses general policy guidelines with 43 indicative actions, he added.

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