KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will ratify the Paris climate change agreement before December 2016, said Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister said he would be attending a United Nations event in New York on Wednesday to renew Malaysia’s commitment to combating climate change.
Malaysia is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Asean, behind Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, contributing to 0.52% of the world’s carbon emissions.
So far only Laos, Asean’s lowest polluter, has ratified the Paris agreement.
Wan Junaidi said negotiations were still ongoing with state Mentris Besar, Chief Ministers and excos to make changes in order to see the agreement through.
In December last year, 195 countries signed the Paris agreement, which sets in motion a process to cut emissions to limit global warming to only 1.5 or two degrees Celsius.
But in order for the agreement to take effect, 55 countries accounting for 55% of global emissions must ratify it. So far, 28 countries representing about 39% of emissions have ratified.
“Malaysia is saying that when we ratify, we are going to give some kind of assurance to the UN that we can perform it.
“But we are now in position to ratify the Paris agreement. I believe we will be one of the 55 countries. Not this trip, but the Prime Minister has already agreed and we can commit before December 2016,” Wan Junaidi said when contacted Monday.
Malaysia pledged to cut greenhouse emissions by 45% by 2030 and have already introduced measures to do so like the developing new cities to be carbon neutral, giving tax incentives to companies that report and limit their emissions, procuring more environmentally-friendly Government assets and planting 13 million new trees since 2011.
Malaysia is projected to cut another 32 million tonnes from its carbon emissions by 2020, said Wan Junaidi.
He had warned that the country and other parts of Asean were at risk of rising sea levels by 2100 if it did not adopt the guidelines set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).