COPENHAGEN, Dec 17 2009 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emission to 40 per cent by the year 2020 compared to the 2005 levels subject to assistance from developed countries.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the cut was conditional on receiving the transfer of technology and adequate financing from the developed world.
"I would like to announce here in Copenhagen that Malaysia is adopting an indicator of a voluntary reduction of up to 40 per cent in terms of emissions intensity of GDP (gross domestic product) by the year 2020 compared to 2005 levels," he said in his speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 here, on Thursday,
United Nations data shows Malaysia's carbon emissions in 2006 stood at 187 million tonnes or 7.2 tonnes from each Malaysian.
Najib also said that Malaysia was committed to ensure at least half of its land area remained as forests as pledged at the Rio Summit.
"Currently our national natural forests and agriculture crop plantations cover 75 per cent of the country's land area," he said during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15).
Stressing the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, Najib said developed countries which were not party to it should take steps in reducing carbon emissions as agreed to in the Bali Action Plan.
"Malaysia calls on the developed countries to collectively commit in Copenhagen to an aggregate reduction of 49 per cent by 2017 compared to the 1990 levels," he said.
Describing the task to combat climate change as a "Herculean endeavour," the Prime Minister said the key element to future cooperation was to recognise, adopt and work out the realisation of the fair principles of equity to the atmospheric space and resource.
"At the same time, we must have ambitious environmental aspirations.
Combining these two factors will be essential for success.... in Copenhagen and thereafter," he said.
Najib also said there should be transparency and fairness and that any decision or outcome must arise from the negotiations in which all countries participated.
"Any document that is placed into the process in a unilateral manner would be counter productive and risks the failure of Copenhagen. This would be a catastrophe that our mother earth can ill afford," he said.
Najib also described the proposed US$10 billion fast track funding as "mere pittance" and inadequate saying that studies had revealed that developing countries required long-term financing of at least US$800 billion a year for purposes of adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
He then called on the developed nations to commit US$200 billion per year by 2012 on the way to the US$800 billion per year required thereafter.
He said if a more accurate temperature rise target of 1.5 degrees centigrade was to be adopted, the funding required by developing countries could be as high as US$1.5 trillion annually.
"Indeed, if we think about it, this is not too high when compared to the many trillions of dollars recently used in bailing out banks and companies," he said.
Najib also suggested that the developed nations should commit to cut their emissions by well over 100 per cent compared to the proposed 80 percent cut.
He said if developed countries cut their emissions by 80 per cent, it would imply a cut of 20 per cent by developing countries in absolute terms and a cut of 60 per cent per capita because of population growth.
"This was an almost impossible task given the imperative of high economic growth. Therefore the developed countries have to commit to cut their emissions by well over 100 per cent.
"In other words they need to have negative emissions so that the developing countries will still have some carbon space," he said.
Najib also expressed concern on the threat of trade protection under the guise of addressing climate change.
"For Copenhagen to succeed there must be a clear statement that developed countries shall not take trade related measures such as carbon tariffs and border adjustment measures against the product, services and investments of developing countries.
"Otherwise, we would have a totally unacceptable situation where developed countries give one dollar with one hand and remove 10 dollars with the other," he said.
More than 100 world leaders are attending the summit which saw demonstrations outside the Bella Centre, the venue of the conference which began Dec 7.
Najib had earlier said that he hoped world leaders would at least give their political commitment in the efforts to save the Planet if a legally-binding agreement could not be achieved during the Copenhagen talks which will end Friday.