Bumi yang tiada rimba, Seumpama hamba
-HIJAU, Zainal Abidin
Could the poignant words of Malaysian music legend Zainal Abidin be a foreboding prediction of years to come? Rapid industrialisation and globalisation are transforming the way we live and work. They’re also significantly changing the way we impact the planet. Emissions of harmful global greenhouse gas (GHG) increased by 90% since 1970. The reality is we need to work together towards a more sustainable world.
Malaysia is no exception. We are committed to moving towards a greener future. Working together to achieve this goal means collaborating with global partners, but equally it commits us to working within our proud nation to deliver a more sustainable Malaysia.
The 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit (COP21) was a landmark deal on climate change, committing 195 individual nations to the shared task of ensuring a healthier global environment.
Malaysia has committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels, delivering continued economic growth without increasing our burden on the planet. But building a greener Malaysia isn’t just a story of global commitments, but a long-standing drive for sustainability within Malaysia.
In 2009, Malaysia set its own voluntary targets for GHG reduction, aiming for up to 40% reduction compared to 2005 levels by 2020. After all, our future is not simply based on economics, but on the environmental legacy we pass to our children. By 2013, Malaysia could already boast a 33% reduction in those levels. Success in this battle should be celebrated, and the 10th Malaysia Plan achieved some crucial steps:
Building a sustainable nation means empowering citizens. The Malaysian government’s energy efficiency labelling ensures consumers can make smart choices on efficient products. The SAVE initiative under the 10th Malaysia Plan demonstrated over 306.9 gigawatt hours saving from supporting the adoption of more energy efficient products with five-star energy ratings. That’s enough energy to run one energy efficient air conditioning unit for a massive 170,000 years.
Saving energy in our homes can be as simple as turning off lights, changing to more efficient LED bulbs, using air conditioning sensibly, switching to high efficiency goods, and turning off devices when not in use. The roll out of smart meters, devices allowing consumers to monitor their own real-time energy usage, will play an important role in understanding these benefits.
The 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020, continues to highlight the importance of environmental sustainability to the county’s development. Renewable energy will play a key part in that.
Renewable energy growth has been huge over recent years, with clean energy predicted to account for over half the world’s installed generation capacity by 2040. This huge global market means that renewable energy is more affordable than ever, offering increasingly efficient methods of low-carbon power generation. 11th Malaysia Plan sets out the goal of increasing installed capacity of RE from 243MW in 2014 to 2,080MW in 2020. A crucial part of this is the 2011 Renewable Energy Act, opening up the wider possibility of businesses and individuals reducing their own energy costs by generating and contributing renewable energy to the grid.