Msia PM: Rich nations should do more

This is written by New Straits Times Press Bhd group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the UN Climate Summit, yesterday, that Malaysia is committed to cut carbon emissions but said rich nations should also keep to their promises.

He said at the one-day summit ahead of the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly that Malaysia was on track to cut the emissions intensity of the gross domestic product by 40 per cent, in six years, as promised.

He said the pledge made at the 2009 Copenhagen UN climate change conference was made on the understanding that parties would honour their commitments to assist developing nations in financing and technology transfer.


"That target we set in Copenhagen was conditional on finance and technology transfer from Annex I (developed) countries.

"Yet neither condition was met. We did not receive the assistance we were promised under Article 4.7 of the Convention," he said.

"Our Copenhagen pledge was made in good faith; on the understanding that parties would fully honour their commitments to assist developing nations.

“Yet Malaysia continued to cut its emissions intensity of its economy by more than 33 per cent, for the sake of our people – and our planet.

“This time must be different. This time, all countries should commit to an ambitious deal to reduce emissions. And they must follow-up that commitment with consistent action,” he said.

Najib said, since 2009, Malaysia had implemented new national policies on climate change and green technology.

“We (also) passed a Renewable Energy Act establishing a feed-in-tariff for renewables. We made adaptation and mitigation central to our water resource management. And we gazetted new forest reserves, reaffirming our commitment to a pledge we made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit,” he said.

He said Malaysia had also taken steps towards a cleaner future besides having a more balanced energy mix.

“But this progress came at a cost. In allocating finite national resources, we have had to make painful decisions. We had to choose between adaptation and mitigation.

”Malaysia has spent nearly US$2.6 billion in the last decade adapting to more frequent floods. This is money we could have invested in green industries, or used to slow climate change,” he said.

Najib said Malaysia would continue to act on climate change by having new policies to promote energy efficient vehicles, a new corporate greenhouse gas reporting programme, a building sector energy efficiency project and a low carbon city framework.

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