Malaysia Pushes Green Agenda

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 – PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is appalled by the recent floods in Cameron Highlands which have been driven by illegal land clearing. The activities, he said were clearly against the government’s efforts to preserve and protect Malaysia’s natural environment. “For all the progress (we have achieved), we haven’t always got things right. I was appalled by the floods in  Cameron Highlands, driven by illegal land clearing.

“But we have to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes,” he said in his opening address at the Energy for Tomorrow conference, organised by International New York Times. Najib noted that Malaysia was looking forward to working with other developing nations to show that climate action could be part of national development.

“As next year’s Asean chair, Malaysia will be the advocate for sustainable growth and climate action. “Next year, Malaysia will play its part. We are optimistic about securing cleaner energy for tomorrow.  “It’s not just the location of this conference that is appropriate, but the timing as well,” he said. The prime minister said Malaysia was about to embark on a year of global climate action, ahead of the 2015 Paris United Nations Climate Change conference.

The action had seen the first signs of looking beyond the dead-end negotiating strategies of the past, he said. Najib acknowledged the stage had been set for a positive outcome in Paris, but to get a deal and ensure that it could work, the government, businesses and people need to be on board with the possibilities of a new energy economy. “I believe that a fast-developing nation such as ours will have an important role to play.

“We can demonstrate that sustainable development is not an indulgence, but a precursor for success.” Najib said Malaysia could show other developing nations that economic growth and carbon emissions need not be correlated. Malaysia, he said, was in favour of ambitious actions on climate change and was living proof that the economy and environment could prosper together.

“That is why we are encouraging more clean vehicles onto our roads, rationalising fuel subsidies, supporting public transportation and committing to energy efficient construction,” he said. Najib said Malaysia had launched a venture capital‎ fund to finance clean energy project across southeast Asia. He has also called on green industries to deliver jobs and help Malaysia create a deeper knowledge economy‎ to help young entrepreneurs acquire skills to support their needs. The two-day conference featured international speakers from Japan and the United States.

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