Penang ‘islands project’ wins award for low-carbon city plan

A clean future: The proposed PSI plan to reclaim three islands totalling 1,800ha off the southern coast of Penang.

SHAH ALAM: The design of the proposed Penang South Islands (PSI), a 1,821ha project next to the Penang International Airport at Bayan Lepas, has been recognised as a sustainable piece of development when it comes to minimising emissions.

The Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corp (MGTC) has honoured Penang for its design as part of its drive to promote Low Carbon Cities (LCCs) in Malaysia, with the state given the “Diamond” award for PSI’s design at the Low Carbon City 2022 event.

MGTC, an agency under the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, said the Low Carbon City 2022 award was part of its flagship programme called the Low Carbon Cities 2030 Challenge (LCC2030C), an initiative to help shift Malaysian cities and conversations towards a low carbon future.

The push for low carbon cities began in 2011, when the Low Carbon Cities Framework and Assessment System (LCCF) was set up by the government (under the then Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry) to guide local authorities and statutory organisations to transform their towns and territories into low carbon urban centres.

The LCCF provides guidance for local authorities by addressing carbon emissions in four main areas: urban environment, urban infrastructure, urban transportation, and buildings – through tools such as city design guidelines, measurement and reporting methodology, as well as an assessment programme.

Since then, MGTC has been working alongside local authorities to establish Low Carbon Zones in state capitals and major urban areas, with these zones characterised by reduced emissions from energy and water consumption of buildings and common areas, reduced emissions from internal combustion engines, and reduced generation of waste that ends in landfills.

In its citation for PSI, MGTC said the design of this development had the potential to reduce emissions by 45.47% compared with a “business as usual” scenario.

Evaluated across four areas, the development can prevent the release of emissions equivalent to 844,295 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

PSI scored big in both energy consumption and low-emission mobility, with each contributing savings of 15.61% and 20.26%, respectively.

It is also an overachiever when it comes to greenery, with Island A of PSI alone boasting of around 200,000 carefully selected trees to promote biodiversity and coastal protection, thus making PSI able to lock in 227.94% more carbon dioxide, compared to a development with no or sparse landscaping.

In an immediate reaction, Penang infrastructure and transport exco Zairil Khir Johari congratulated the PSI master planning team for the achievement, saying the low-carbon plan is evidence that Penang meant business when it talks about sustainability.

“Penang cares for the environment, and we are making holistic plans to make sure we meet our targets. We are not just making statements or being rhetorical. We mean to build a green and sustainable development we can all be proud of.”

Deputy State Secretary Datuk Mohd Zakuan Zakaria received the award on behalf of Penang from deputy Environment Minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii at a ceremony here yesterday.

Visit for details on low carbon cities.

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