ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia on track for carbon emission cut target - PM Najib
NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is well on track to hit its target of cutting the carbon emissions intensity of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40 per cent by 2020, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told the United Nations Climate Summit 2014, here, Tuesday.
The prime minister said Malaysia had already reduced the emissions intensity of its GDP by more than 33 per cent despite facing difficulties in fulfilling the pledge made in Copenhagen six years ago.
The country did not receive the financial and technological transfer assistance pledged by the developed countries during the Copenhagen meeting, he told today's summit which was attended by world leaders including United States President Barack Obama at the United Nations headquarters, here.
"That target we set in Copenhagen was conditional on finance and technology transfer from Annex I (developed) countries. Yet neither condition was met. We did not receive the assistance we were promised under Article 4.7 of the Convention," he said.
In drawing his attention to Malaysia's initiatives in meeting the Copenhagen target, he said the country had implemented new national policies on climate change and green technology.
Citing Malaysia's policies in this field, Najib said Malaysia had passed a Renewable Energy Act establishing a feed-in-tariff for renewables.
"We made adaptation and mitigation central to our water resources management. And we gazetted new forest reserves, reaffirming our commitment to a pledge we made at the Rio Earth Summit," he said.
In the past six years, Malaysia had taken a clear step towards a cleaner future and it had a more sustainable economy, and a more balanced energy mix currently, he said.
"But this progress came at a cost. In allocating finite national resources, we have had to make painful decisions. Sometimes, we have had to choose between adaptation and mitigation," Najib said.
He said Malaysia had spent nearly US$2.6 billion (RM8.3 billion) in the last decade adapting to more frequent floods.
"This money we could have invested in green industries, or used to slow climate change," Najib said.
Malaysia, he said, also learned that mitigation without adaptation was an exercise in futility.
During a recent dry period, water shortages and fires combined to destroy thousands of trees planted to sequester atmospheric carbon, he said.
Najib said Malaysia had shown that its economy could grow whilst its emissions intensity fell.
"But we have had to divert finances from other sustainable development initiatives
and in those areas, we have lost valuable momentum.
"Malaysia will to continue to act on climate change," he said.
Further substantiating his point on the issue, Najib said the country had new policies to promote energy efficient vehicles, a new corporate greenhouse gas reporting programme, a building sector efficiency project and a low carbon city framework.
Malaysia was also constructing a new urban mass transit system that could halve the number of cars on its city streets, he said.
Najib said in the face of growing climate impacts, Malaysia remained committed to the climate agenda and training its sights on the developed countries.
The prime minister said the country could accomplish far more if promises made (by developed countries) under the convention were kept.
"Our Copenhagen pledge was made in good faith; on the understanding that parties would fully honour their commitments to assist developing nations.
"They did not. Yet Malaysia continued to cut its emissions intensity, for the sake of our people
and our planet," he said.
Najib said this time must be different and this time, all countries should commit to an ambitious deal to reduce emissions and they must follow up that commitment with consistent action.
He said Malaysia, a fast developing Asian nation, showed that economic growth needed not depend on emissions.
"We stand ready to work with other fast-developing nations to argue for greater ambition in 2015, and to show that economic development and climate action are not competing goals, but common ambitions," he said. (BERNAMA)
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