Malaysia is committing to its target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced. This was detailed while presenting the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He also committed to no longer building new coal-fired power plants in Malaysia. In addition, Ismail Sabri said that he plans to use economic instruments such as carbon pricing and carbon tax to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s green economy.
“Other details for carbon reduction measures will be announced after the strategic long-term review of the low-carbon development strategies has been finalised by the end of 2022,” he assured.
In terms of the timeline, Malaysia is targeted to increase renewable energy generation to 31% of its total installed capacity by 2025, increase the government’s green revenue by 25% in the same year, and reduce greenhouse gases emissions intensity to become a low-carbon country by 2030.
How does Malaysia’s target compare to other countries?
Committing to a carbon-neutral target is great, but Malaysia has been quite slow compared to other countries. The majority of the world’s nations have already targeted 2050 with some level of commitment. However a lot of these countries stop at the pledge and discussion stage, rarely making a firm plan of action.
According to this infographic by the National Public Utilities Council, Bhutan and Suriname are the only two countries that are carbon negative, meaning they remove more carbon than they emit into the environment.
Some countries have targets that are much earlier, such as Uruguay with 2030, Finland with 2035, and Iceland with 2040. Still, having a target with no plan is just as good as having no target at all. This is why proposing legislation, policies, and laws is extremely important.
Compared to some of our neighbours, Malaysia seems to be doing well in terms of goals. The Philippines and Thailand do not have a carbon-neutral target year yet, Indonesia has theirs set for 2060, and Singapore is committing to being carbon-neutral around the second half of the 21st century. Although, some of these countries have aimed to ban combustion cars in the near future. Indonesia plans to sell only electric cars by 2050, Singapore plans to make the switch by 2040, and Thailand aims to do it by 2035.
PM Ismail Sabri said that he welcomes private sector initiatives towards achieving zero carbon emissions, but enforcing green environmental laws like banning combustion cars would be a huge step towards a carbon-neutral future.