Cutting emissions through natural climate solutions


Malaysia could cost-effectively reduce 37% of greenhouse gas emissions required by 2030 to prevent risky global warming levels through natural climate solutions, based on a study by scientists from The Nature Conservancy and 15 other institutions.

According to the study, Malaysia can cut greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees, improving soil health, as well as protecting forests, peat-lands and mangroves.

“The way we manage the lands in the future could deliver 37% of the solution to climate change. If we are serious about climate change, we have to get serious about investing in nature, as well as in renewable energy and clean transport,” The Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek said in a recent statement.

Tercek said that current impacts on the land cause a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. He added that while food and timber production is in high demand, climate change must also be addressed.

Mission 2020 Convener and United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change former head Christiana Figueres said that land use is a key sector where emissions can be reduced and carbon can be absorbed.

“This new study shows how we can massively increase action on land use — in tandem with increased action on energy, transport, finance, industry and infrastructure — to put emissions on their downward trajectory by 2020,” she said.

Figueres added that natural climate solutions are important in ensuring full decarbonisation and while simultaneously boosting jobs and protecting communities in both developed and developing countries.

The study is expected to cushion the government’s attempts to manage lands better, as well as the shift to renewable energy and electric cars.

A climate discussion involving world leaders will be held in Germany early next month, organised by the UN.

The federal government announced its target for 52 low-carbon cities by 2020, which will be driven by the Low Carbon Cities Framework (LCCF), a collaboration between the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water and Malaysian Green Technology Corp inked on Monday.

The LCCF is an infrastructure driven to aid authorities and urban developers to embrace low-carbon initiatives.