• Malaysia demonstrates lack of leadership in climate change issues by being only 1 of 2 ASEAN countries not to submit the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as of 1st of October, 2015

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 5th of October

    Malaysia demonstrates lack of leadership in climate change issues by being only 1 of 2 ASEAN countries not to submit the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) as of 1st of October, 2015

    On the 23rd of September, 2014, in his address to the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak not only reiterated his promise made at Copenhagen in 2009 to reduce Malaysia’s carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, he stated that Malaysia had already achieved a more than 33% reduction in emissions intensity.[1]

    Unfortunately, we were never told where these emission reductions came from. Indeed, one doubts the authenticity of these numbers as well as Malaysia’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions moving forward, especially given our continued reliance on coal powered electricity generating plants. From a parliamentary reply I received from the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHa), it is projected that the generation fuel mix from coal power plants (which contributes far more towards carbon emissions compared to gas fired plants) would increase from 50% in 2015 to 65% in 2022. The percentage of electricity generation from renewable sources is projected to be at a measly 3% by 2020 (See reply below).

    In contrast, President Obama’s recently announced Clean Power Plan provides strong regulations and incentives to reduce the United State’s reliance on carbon intensive power plants (especially coal power plants) and move towards renewable energy sources.[2] While it is acknowledged that Malaysia and the United States are at very different stages of economic development, it is nonetheless shocking to see the lack of leadership in Malaysia on the issue of climate change.

    The most recent example of this lack of leadership is the fact that Malaysia, together with Brunei, are the only two countries in ASEAN which have failed, as of the 1st of October 2015, to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).[3] The INDCs are an essential component of the process leading up to the Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21) which is scheduled to take place in Paris in December where an ambitious agenda to tackle climate change will be negotiated.

    As of the 1st of October, 119 countries (out of 167) have submitted their INDCs including big developing countries such as China, India, Brazil and Indonesia and other smaller developing countries such as Liberia, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Malaysia finds itself among countries such as Afghanistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan and Venezuela as those who have not yet submitted their INDCs.

    This not only puts Malaysia in a poor light especially given our position as the chair of ASEAN for 2015 but also calls into question Malaysia’s preparedness heading into COP 21. This is also part of a larger problem in demonstrating lack of leadership in addressing the most important environmental problem facing the country now which is the haze issue. Resolving this issue requires strong leadership by Malaysia especially in our dealings with Indonesia and how we leverage the ASEAN framework on this matter. I call upon our new Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (NRE), Datuk Wan Junaidi, to give an explanation for this embarrassing lack of leadership on the part of Malaysia.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Parliamentary Reply from KeTTHA on Generation Fuel-Mix from 2015 to 2030

    [1] http://www.pmo.gov.my/home.php?menu=speech&page=1676&news_id=736&speech_cat=2

    [2] https://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change#section-clean-power-plan

    [3] http://newsroom.unfccc.int/

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