October 25, 2016

Malaysia ‘will sign’ the Paris Agreement

Malaysia ‘will sign’ the Paris Agreement

Malaysia have promised to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Photo Credit: Flickr

Come November, Malaysia will sign the Paris Agreement, according to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“God willing, Malaysia will ratify the agreement after Nov 4, because we will present the paper to the Cabinet to decide (whether to ratify or otherwise),” he announced at a press conference. “After that (presenting paper to Cabinet), we can submit our ratification documents to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change),” he added. “I am confident that we can reduce emissions by 45 per cent, 10 per cent conditional and 35 per cent unconditional.”

Unless we all act now to reduce carbon emissions significantly, global temperatures will rise to unmanageable levels by the end of the century. Photo Credit: Science 2,0

Unless we all act now to reduce carbon emissions significantly, global temperatures will rise to unmanageable levels by the end of the century. Photo Credit: Science 2,0

The agreement is the first universal, legally binding document on climate change, which 195 nations adopted last December. The initiative’s goal is to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels in order to reduce the most harmful effects of climate change in the coming decades.

The agreement will legally commit Malaysia, which is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases within ASEAN (behind Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand), to reduce its carbon emissions significantly.  The country, which contributes slightly above 0.5% of the world’s total carbon emissions, has promised to cut its greenhouse emissions by 45% by the year 2030. According to the government, Malaysia had achieved a 35% reduction in its greenhouse gases by the end of last year and is on course to achieve a 40% reduction by 2020, as per its intended target.

“We take these targets seriously and this shows the work that goes into meeting them,” Prime Minister Najib Razak recently stressed, adding that the government has been investing heavily in green technologies through targeted financing. It has backed 188 successful projects, thereby helping save the equivalent of 2.31 million tonnes of carbon emissions while but also creating nearly 4,000 jobs, he explained.

“[W]e have introduced tax incentives to encourage industries to adopt green technology, set targets for an installed capacity of renewable energy and make green growth an integral part of the 11th Malaysia Plan, which will guide us over the next four years,” he said. His administration, he added, is also working on new carbon credit-based solutions according to the principles of Islamic finance. “We want to encourage this further and we will consider providing incentives to companies that offset their carbon footprint with Malaysian rainforest credit.”

These are all worthy goals. As a small country, Malaysia cannot go it alone in helping to rein in rampant warming: that task will require intense global cooperation. But it can certainly do its part in helping to heal the planet’s climate.

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