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M’sia among the worst global polluters

December 5, 2012

Jared Pereira and G Lavendran (FMT) | December 5, 2012

It ranks a dismal 55 out of 61 countries, according to the Climate Change Performance Index.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has alarmingly become a more polluted country if the findings of the eighth annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is anything to go by.   The findings, revealed at the climate talks in Doha recently by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, highlighted performances of the 61 top polluters globally.

No country made it to the top three spots in reaching the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degree Celsius.   Malaysia ranked a disappointing 55th out of 61 countries who were part of the research, scoring 47.53 out of 100.

The total score encapsulates five main categories – emissions levels, development of emissions, renewable energies, efficiency and climate policy respectively.

Malaysia also ranked 14th out of 15 countries in the Index for newly Industrialised Countries and last out of nine countries in the Index for Asian Countries.   The main factor behind Malaysia’s poor rating is due to its rapid industralisation and uncontrolled emmisions of toxic waste products and rampant deforestation.

Deputy secretary general of the Ministry of National Resources and Environment, Abdul Rahim Nik, admitted Malaysia’s emission levels have been steadily increasing since 2000.   Malaysia’s climate policy ratings have stayed the same since the last CCPI in 2012, and it proves that not much emphasis has been given to enforcing its policy statement.

Abdul Rahim said: “Our policy is to ensure climate-resilient developments to fulfil national aspirations for sustainability.”   What is being done wrong?   Malaysia’s climate policy, being part of the 9th Malaysia Plan, has to be given more attention if it is serious in wanting to tackle this issue.

According to the the national policy of climate change, impacts of climate change can undermine development, affect human well-being and threaten the security of natural resources.   Therefore, strategic responses are vital to fortify the nation’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Intergrated planning and implementation of strategic thrusts will definitely help improve the nation’s climate policy rankings in the near future.   To curb rising emission levels, the government must act against those who blatantly violate provisions of the policy so as to safeguard the environment and aspire to the standards of the Kyoto Protocol.

The government has to emulate the example of China, which although being one of the largest polluters in the world, is investing heavily in renewable energies to curb pollution.

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