Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Malaysia.
Malaysia’s emissions amounted to 250.3 million tons in 2018, up from 241.6 million tons in 2017. The main sources of the emissions were energy, mobility and waste ending up in landfills.
The government is working to establish carbon cities with the help of Malaysian green technology corporation GreenTech Malaysia. The company is developing a framework to guide the development and transformation of cities under its jurisdiction into low carbon cities. The framework has five elements: the first four are to reduce carbon emissions through the energy use and water consumption of buildings and common areas, petrol and diesel of two and four-wheel private vehicles and municipal solid waste ending up in landfills and the fifth element is to increase carbon sequestration by adding green spaces.
As part of the framework, the cities will use 2018 as their baseline, and their data will be checked annually. When there is a reduction, they will be awarded. The company hopes to establish and designate 200 low carbon zones across the country.
- The country’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) is to reduce emissions intensity (emissions relative to GDP) by 45% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. This is broken down into an unconditional 35% and further 10% based on financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity building from developed countries.
- They have taken early action in promoting biofuel use (mainly palm), along with pro-renewable policies but these measures are insufficient.
- Malaysia’s main shortcomings are regarding land use. There is much progress to be made in terms of forestry and handling of peatlands. These massive sources of carbon are heavily drained, leaving them extremely vulnerable to fires. Re-swamping the areas is very costly and currently beyond the government’s ability.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.