Climate change: Malaysia takes lead in cutting carbon

Country looking to do its part to fight climate change and seeks to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020.

Melaka, a popular tourist destination, is one of the smallest states in Malaysia and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It is also no stranger to population growth and urban development. But all that comes at a price. For Melaka, the result is an increase in pollution.

For years, there has been construction along the banks of the River Melaka. In addition, rubbish and raw untreated sewage were poured into it.

Heavily polluted, it took 15 years of investment and cost $107m to clean up the waterway.

Malaysia has other environmental challenges. Some are man-made, others are not.

The country experienced its worst floods in 2014. They were blamed on deforestation and climate change, which has also been termed the reason behind rising sea levels that are eroding the coast.

The annual haze has been blamed on forest fires, causing breathing problems that affect millions of people across the region.

In response, the state government last January banned all plastic takeaway food packaging and carrier bags.

The state’s initiatives do not stop there.¬†It is adding more electric buses to its fleet and there are free charging stations for private electric car owners.

The government has allocated $285m for green projects in Melaka over the next five years.

Nationwide, it plans to spend $700m annually until 2017.

Source: AlJazeera. Date: 24 April, 2016