Malaysia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability, Nik Nazmi, is taking measures to tackle climate change by proposing a substantial shift in energy subsidies and promoting sustainable practices.
The initiative intends to cut subsidies for the wealth and increase electricity tariffs, encouraging a transition to alternative energy, while continuing to support the less affluent through subsidies for fuel and electricity.
Nik Nazmi, Malaysia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability. (Photo: Nik Nazmi's Facebook)
This policy is part of a broader strategy to foster a more sustainable lifestyle in Malaysia, a country that has faced climate-related disasters like heat islands and floods.
Nazmi also announced the cessation of new palm oil plantations and coal power plants, signaling a departure from environmentally harmful practices.
The National Adaptation Plan and the Climate Change Act are expected to be implemented by 2025. The primary focus will be on infrastructure improvements, nature-based city planning, and relocating residential areas from vulnerable coastal and river basin zones.
Financial incentives for states to protect forests have been increased. Despite these efforts, challenges remain. Some state-level decisions may conflict with federal sustainability goals.
This conflict is exemplified by the actions of the Kelantan state, potentially undermine forest preservation efforts.
According to Nazmi, the federal government does not agree with Kelantan's move to declassify parts of permanent forest reserve as environmentally non-sensitive areas.
He said the decision will have huge implications, particularly concerning the government's policy to achieve 50% forested land in Peninsular Malaysia in accordance with the National Physical Plan (NPP).
The indiscriminate deforestation that may follow the declassification could also lead to more flash floods, he pointed out.