Malaysia aims for 40pc cut in carbon intensity per GDP


newsdesk@thestar.com.my

COPENHAGEN: Malaysia is adopting a voluntary national reduction indicator of up to 40% in terms of GDP emission intensity by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Thursday that this was part of Malaysia’s contribution towards global efforts to combat climate change despite the long and difficult road ahead.

The Prime Minister said the voluntary indicator would measure the country’s progress in climate action.

He, however, said the indicator was conditional upon the transfer of technology and adequate financing from Annex 1 partners (industrialised countries and economies in transition).

Addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 (COP 15) here on Thursday, Najib said Malaysia was committed to doing its best to combat climate change.

“We realise this is no easy task. In fact, it is nothing short of a herculean endeavour,” he said, adding the summit offered the best hope for a global framework of co-operation.

He said under this convention were the fair principles of equity and historical responsibility due to the need of Annex 1 parties to repay their climate debt.

“The key to our future co-operation is to recognise, adopt and work out the realisation of the principle of fair shares to the atmospheric space and resource.

“At the same time, we must have ambitious environmental aspirations,” he said, noting that combining these two factors would ensure the summit’s success.

Najib also hit out at the proposed US$10bil fast track funding for developing nations to control emissions as “mere pittance and woefully inadequate.”

He said developing countries required long-term financing of at least US$800bil a year for purposes of adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

The funding, he added, was linked to the target of maintaining 2-degree centigrade of temperature rise.

However, the amount could rise to US$1.5 trillion annually based on a more ambitious and scientifically accurate temperature rise target of 1.5 degrees centigrade.

“Indeed, if we think about it, this is not too high when compared to the many trillions of dollars recently used in bailing out banks and companies,” he added.

Najib urged developed countries to commit US$200bil annually by 2012 on the way to the US$800bil annually required thereafter.

He also spoke on the looming threat of trade protection under the guise of addressing climate change.

For the summit to succeed, there must be a clear statement that developed countries shall not take trade related measures such as carbon tariffs and border adjustment measures against the products, services and investments of developing countries.

“Otherwise, we would have a totally unacceptable situation where developed countries give 1 dollar with one hand and remove 10 dollars with the other,” he added.

The premier said developed countries had also proposed that they cut their emissions by 80%, implying a 20% reduction by developing countries in absolute terms and a 60% cut per capita due to population growth.

This, he added, was an almost impossible task given their imperative for high economic growth.

“Therefore, the developed countries have to commit to reduce their emissions by well over 100%,” he noted.

He also urged developed nations to collectively commit to an aggregate reduction of 49% by 2017 compared with 1990 levels, instead of individual targets of 13% to 19%.

He added Malaysia shared the concerns of other developing countries for full participation, transparency and fairness of process at the summit.

“Any decision or outcome must arise from the negotiations in which all countries participate,” he said.

Any document that was placed into the process in a unilateral manner would be counter-productive and risk the failure of the summit.

This, he added, would be a catastrophe that “Mother Earth could ill afford.”

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