International Herald Tribune
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Carbon emissions in Malaysia have increased by 221 percent since 1990, the highest growth rate among the world's top polluters, the United Nations said Thursday, as it urged the government to control climate-changing gases more vigorously.
Malaysia, which has rapidly transformed from an agricultural economy to an industrialized one in the last four decades, is now ranked the 26th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, said Richard Leete, the regional representative for the United Nations Development Program.
"Clearly there is a case for the government to consider a new policy on climate change issues," Leete said at the Malaysian launch of the UNDP's annual report on the state of the world. The report was first released in Brazil earlier this week.
"Malaysia has made a positive start in reducing its carbon footprint ... but Malaysia must do more," he said.
The United Nations Development Report said carbon dioxide emissions increased by 221 percent from 1990 to 2004 in Malaysia, the highest growth rate among the world's top 30 carbon dioxide emitters.
"It's something that we have to look at ... we have to do some analysis," Noor Azlan Ghazali, the government's representative at the launch, told reporters.
With 0.4 percent of the world's population, Malaysia's 27 million people accounted for 0.6 percent of global emissions.
Noor Azlan, who is the director of the Malaysian Development Institute, said the government needs to strengthen its efforts but could not say if there were any concrete measures planned.
Malaysia, which has ratified the Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gases, has taken several initiatives to use renewable energy and other ways to cut such emissions, but critics say not enough is being done.
Razali Ismail, president of the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia, called for an end to the "unending ceaseless debates" on the environment and said the government needed to go beyond professing its commitment and improve enforcement structures.
"There is enough irrefutable evidence to portray that we are on the brink of huge disasters. ... There must be results," he said at the launch.
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