‘Make green growth a priority’ – Nation

PETALING JAYA: More emphasis will be given to environmentally-friendly sustainable development to ensure that a sustainable national development is successful.

The emphasis on green growth is one of the key aims in the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Measures include formulating an Environmental Protection Act, cutting greenhouse gas emissions intensity to Gross Domestic Product by 45% relative to the level in 2005, and targeting 8,885MW of renewable energy installed capacity.

Other measures outlined included a target of 30% recycling rate for household waste, and development of an integrated weather and flood forecasting.

Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia president Nithi Nesadurai said that it is high time for Malaysia to move beyond using just green growth as the means for enhancing environmental sustainability.

“The effort should also focus on making sustainable development a mainstream subject, including other concerns on ecological footprint analysis, climate change and disaster risk management.

“Then we also need a mechanism on implementation that looks into every activity of the federal government, as well as all levels of the state governments and local authorities.

“In effect, programmes conducted by every ministry should be evaluated from the criteria of what effect will this have on our ecological footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Otherwise, the environment will prevent us from achieving the development we aspire through extreme weather events, floods and droughts,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

Nithi noted that currently, the planet is in a state of ‘ecological overshoot’ which was attributed to high consumption, loss of nature and waste generation.

“Humankind is consuming the resources of 1.7 planets.

“At the same time, increasing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide make achieving the target of keeping global warming to below 1.5°C extremely challenging.

“Continuing in these pathways will have grim consequences for all, and Malaysia will not be spared unless the global community comes together to address these challenges,” he added.

He argued that the 11th Malaysian Plan was too “federal government-centric even as we are aware there is a limit to what the federal government can actually do by itself”.

“Adequate funding should be provided to state governments to contribute towards forest conservation and help them address climate change issues.

“The federal government should also support and encourage investments in green growth initiatives to facilitate a shift from the traditional economic growth activities at the state level,” he added.

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