Should the EU stay firm in its Stance on Malaysian Palm Oil?

Should the EU stay firm in its Stance on Malaysian Palm Oil?

Chalk one up to Malaysian palm oil companies. In late January, European lawmakers approved a new energy plan for the 28-member economic zone that included an impeding ban on the use of palm oil in motor fuels on the continent from 2021 onwards. Malaysian palm oil producers and their allies…

Malaysia decries EU ban on Palm Oil as unacceptable ‘Crop Apartheid’

Malaysia decries EU ban on Palm Oil as unacceptable ‘Crop Apartheid’

“Crop apartheid.” It is with this strange neologism that Malaysia’s plantations minister Mah Siew Keong has branded the European Union’s decision to ban on the use of palm oil in biofuels from countries like Malaysia, where the mass cultivation of the crop has inflicted grave and irreversible harm on the natural…

Seeking to hold the Fossil Fuel Industry accountable for Climate Change

Seeking to hold the Fossil Fuel Industry accountable for Climate Change

The world’s first ever national inquiry into the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry for its negative impacts on human rights resulting from climate change is taking place today in the Philippines, just a single day after Human Rights Day on December 10. Leading oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Shell, BP,…

PM: Fossil Fuel Subsidies are a Bad Idea

PM: Fossil Fuel Subsidies are a Bad Idea

Fuel subsidies are, on the surface, a good thing. They can boost the economy and help economically deprived Malaysians save up on fuel costs. Yet they also come with environmental costs. Cheaper gasoline prices would mean Malaysians would think less of using public transport and opt instead to drive around…

The East Coast Rail Line must be made Wildlife-Friendly

The East Coast Rail Line must be made Wildlife-Friendly

A sad part of development in Malaysia is that it rarely if ever comes without environmental costs. And so it has proved with the East Coast Rail Line. Aware of the hazards the new rail link will pose to wildlife, environmentalists have been calling on policymakers to put the project on…

An EU ban on Malaysian Palm Oil Products may well be Necessary

An EU ban on Malaysian Palm Oil Products may well be Necessary

Let Melaka’s Chief Minister Idris Haron tell you, and not only are oil palm plantations not harmful to the environment; they are positively helpful. Touting the alleged successes of the state’s green policy recently, Idris stressed that the European Union is badly mistaken in planning to ban imports of palm…

Plenty more Green Tech Jobs are on the Horizon

Plenty more Green Tech Jobs are on the Horizon

Come 2030, there will be 200,000 jobs in all in Malaysia’s green technology sector. An ambitious goal, yes. A worthy one too. To make it happen, the government will invest RM180 billion as part of its Green Technology Master Plan (GTMP). “The GTMP lays the foundation for a holistic shift…

Government unveils ambitious Green Tech Master Plan

Government unveils ambitious Green Tech Master Plan

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to celebrate. Or at least it’s time to be cautiously optimistic. The reason: Malaysia’s government has just unveiled an ambitious strategic plan to create a resource-efficient economy with significantly lower carbon emissions. The announcement of this grand plan, dubbed the Green Technology Master Plan (GTMP),…

Companies in Malaysia are Mum about their use of Palm Oil

Companies in Malaysia are Mum about their use of Palm Oil

The results are in and they aren’t all that encouraging: some two-thirds of 47 companies in Singapore and Malaysia surveyed by the World Wide Fund for Nature may be using palm oil obtained in unsustainable ways. We don’t know if they indeed are because they won’t tell. Sad, yes. Palm…

India ‘will Sell’ only Electric Cars

India ‘will Sell’ only Electric Cars

India is known for many things, but a commitment to environmentalism tends not to be among them. The country has some of the world’s most polluted cities, wildlife crime remains rampant in the land, and natural habitats around the subcontinent have been shrinking alarmingly. Then again, some things are changing…

Massive Development in Johor raises Environmental Concerns

Massive Development in Johor raises Environmental Concerns

Forest City. The name sounds innocuous enough. What could be wrong about a city with a forest? Quite a lot, it seems. China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd is developing Forest City, an RM176 billion mixed-use mega project on four reclaimed islands in Iskandar in the Johor Strait. Built over the next two decades…

Let rich Nations pay poor Ones for Protecting Forests

Let rich Nations pay poor Ones for Protecting Forests

One of the facts of conservation is that the more prosperous a society is, the more likely it is to protect its natural environment. Conversely, less developed nations are prone to exploiting and destroying theirs in their drive to more prosperity. The problem, of course, is that much, if not most,…

Palm Oil Buyers Beware! WWF’s latest Scores on Companies are In

Palm Oil Buyers Beware! WWF’s latest Scores on Companies are In

The results are in and they are so-so. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has released its latest Palm Oil Buyers’ Scorecard, on which it has evaluated the performance of numerous companies worldwide based on how well they have done on fulfilling their pledged commitment to buying and using…

Banking on the Death of Forests

Banking on the Death of Forests

Many banks treat forests as exploitable resources; so much so that they are behind massive deforestation across Indonesia and Malaysia. By financing companies that cut down forests for profit, the banks are key drivers of forest loss in these two countries, and farther afield. This is according to the US-based…