Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, said that Malaysia was in negotiations with richer countries, in an attempt to follow the lead of its neighbours Indonesia and Vietnam, who have struck a deal for a transition from coal-powered energy to renewable sources.
Malaysia, which depends on coal and gas to meet 75% of its energy needs, trails its Southeast Asian neighbours in terms of clean energy expansion. Climate experts say the new government must tap into more green funding from around the world to reduce carbon emissions, combat the effects of global warming, and protect the environment.
Indonesia and Vietnam will sign large finance agreements with wealthy nations in late 2022 to close their coal-fired plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Nik Nazmi stated that the government has been in contact with developed countries, including the US and Japan.
We saw that Indonesia and Vietnam both tapped into the Just Energy Transition Plan. Conversations are ongoing, he said in an interview with his ministry at Putrajaya. He added that he hoped an energy transition agreement could be reached between one and two years.
Nik Nazmi from the Prime Minister’s office, which was unable to provide a date, confirmed that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is planning to meet with US Climate Envoy John Kerry to discuss how to improve his country’s environmental credentials.
Nik Nazmi said that the government will also set up an advisory group ahead of COP28, which is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12. This team will allow Anwar to “make some major announcements” before this conference, Nik Nazmi added, without providing any further details.
The government is not building or approving any new coal-fired power plants. Instead, it wants to ease regulations for solar power installations, particularly for rooftops in factories and homes, in order to benefit from Malaysia’s strategic location within Southeast Asia.