Malaysia’s Roadmap to Greening the Nation

Malaysia, the host nation of this year’s Asia Pacific Climate Week, is at a critical juncture in charting its sustainability future. With rapid development and modernisation efforts posing threats to the nation’s climate landscape, the government has begun accelerating efforts to create a sustainable Malaysia. 

In 2015, Malaysia submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, outlining the country’s plan to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Following Malaysia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2016, the nation then submitted its revised NDC in July 2021, promising an unconditional target of carbon intensity reduction of 45% by 2030 and additional greenhouse gas (GHG) coverage.  

Malaysia’s Revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

In line with these targets, Malaysia launched The Twelfth Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 (12MP) to drive sustainability efforts and create a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable Malaysia. The 12MP has three key themes—resetting the economy, strengthening security, wellbeing

and inclusivity, and advancing sustainability—with four catalytic policy enablers to develop future talent, accelerate technology adoption and innovation, enhance connectivity and transport infrastructure, and strengthen public service. 

Malaysia’s efforts to turn sustainability goals into reality hinge on the success of two key initiatives listed under the third theme of the 12MP: 1) embracing the circular economy, and 2) accelerating the adoption of integrated water resources management. 

These initiatives are the nation’s driving force behind achieving NDC targets, encouraging public and private sectors to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles into their business practices to reduce waste generation, pollution, and GHG emissions. These efforts will contribute to the growth of the green economy, creating job opportunities while pushing for a comprehensive transformation of systems and policies to ensure a sustainable future. 

Apart from revising the nation’s NDC, Malaysia also recently launched a National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) to operationalise efforts outlined in the 12MP and Malaysia’s National Energy Policy 2022-2040. The NETR pushes for policies and funding that prioritise energy efficiency, renewable energy in Malaysia, bioenergy, and green mobility. This roadmap plays a crucial role in guiding Malaysia’s transition from a conventional economy reliant on fossil fuels to a more advanced and environmentally friendly green economy.

Additional efforts to support the nation’s transition to cleaner energy and achieve climate goals stem from existing policies and initiatives, such as The Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap (MyRER), which was developed to decarbonise Malaysia’s electricity sector. Currently, renewable energy in Malaysia contributes 23% of power installed capacity with a goal of reaching 31% by 2025 and 40% by 2035, proving that the nation is on the right track to achieving its climate and energy goals. 

However, there are still pressing challenges that continue to hinder Malaysia’s sustainability progress. Among these challenges is the need for improved urban planning and infrastructure strong enough to withstand the impacts of climate-related natural disasters. 

In his keynote address at the “Johor Conversations: A Sustainable Johor Rooted In Resilience” Forum in April, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Johor Menteri Besar, emphasised that “One of the pressing issues that we are facing is the floods, which has now become a recurring climate impact in Johor. This disaster, among others, is the adverse effect of climate change, urban planning and not to mention the geographical landscape in certain parts of Johor that are on par or lower than the sea level.” 

To heighten resilience and charge efforts to lower the nation’s carbon emissions, Malaysia launched the Low Carbon Cities Framework (LCCF), a programme aimed at developing sustainable and low-carbon urban areas. Areas such as Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia have also adopted measures to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters through better urban planning and sustainable transportation options. 

There is also an urgency to organise and manage Malaysia’s green initiatives. As such, the country established The Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Climate Change (NRECC), to oversee Malaysia’s plans and policies in the realms of green growth, climate change mitigation, and green lifestyle.

MGTC plays a critical role in three national policies, namely the National Green Technology Policy (NGTP), the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP), and the Green Technology Master Plan (GTMP), acting as a key driver for fostering green economic growth. The agency also promotes green economy initiatives like the MyHIJAU Mark Certification Programme, the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS), and the Green Technology Investment Tax Exemption (GITE). 

Other cities in the country, like Seberang Perai, Hang Tuah Jaya, and Subang Jaya, have invested in solar power and energy efficiency campaigns, collaborating closely with MGTC to leverage its expertise and initiatives, resulting in annual savings ranging from RM37,000 to RM660,000.

These collective endeavours create a holistic and all-encompassing blueprint for a sustainable Malaysia. They serve as an inspiration, not only to Malaysians, but to people across Southeast Asia, urging them to embrace sustainable living and champion the cause of environmental preservation. In doing so, Malaysia is collectively working towards ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

Championing a Sustainable Malaysia

The Twelfth Malaysia Plan 2021-2025
Malaysia’s National Energy Policy 2022-2040
The National Energy Transition Roadmap 
The Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap
Low Carbon Cities Framework
The Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation

Championing a sustainable Malaysia involves a multitude of strategic initiatives and policies. These concerted efforts align with the upcoming Asia Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023, organised by the UNFCCC and hosted by the Johor Government in Malaysia. 

APCW 2023 is scheduled to take place at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre from 13-17 November 2023, welcoming both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to discuss a wide spectrum of climate issues under a single and inclusive platform.

For the latest updates and detailed information on what to anticipate at this regional event, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, X, or LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *