Adopting renewable energy, switching from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, promoting active mobility and circular economy, and putting a stop to land conversion were some measures that needed to be prioritised to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In a Facebook post, Datuk Seri Ir Dr Zaini Ujang, the Secretary-General at the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Malaysia, shared high-income countries produced more greenhouse gasses or carbon dioxide than low-income countries.
“GHG emissions (tonnes per capita per year) is proportional to the gross domestic product (GDP),” he wrote.
“The most significant GHG emissions in the energy sector is up to 80 per cent (electric supply, vehicles and other energy produced from fossil fuels mainly oil, gas and coal), and another 20 per cent is from the industrial sector, waste and agricultural practices, conversion of land, etc.”
The higher the society’s income (not limited to developed nations), the higher the demand for services, products and ‘necessities’. These demands consume energy and other resources that produce GHG such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous dioxide.
GHG emissions caused the earth’s temperature to rise by 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to before the Industrial Revolution began. This issue led to the formation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, resulting in Kyoto Protocol 1997, followed by Paris Agreement 2015.
Referring to the data from the World Bank, Zaini said the trend for GHG emission could be divided into the economic status and the peace of the country. He said low-income nations, specifically those at war, emit the least GHG compared to middle-income countries.
He noted that rich nations (not limited to the G20 members) such as Qatar, UAE, Arab Saudi, and Kuwait had the highest GHG emissions. He, however, pointed out the exception for some high-income countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland that were being proactive in pursuing green growth.
“Malaysia and China are considered upper-middle-income countries,” said Zaini. — @Green