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Malaysia: Climate Action Plan Enable the Transition of Muar District to Low Carbon District.

Muar, also known as Bandar Maharani, is a district located in the northwest of Johor, Malaysia’s southernmost state. Muar is a royal town of Johor and a popular attraction for tourists. The city is also home to the major producer of Malaysian made furniture. As the first district in Malaysia to mainstream climate mitigation and adaptation into its local plan, Muar has set challenging but achievable environmental targets. The Muar District Local Plan 2030 aims to be leading the economic growth for Nothern Johor Economic Corridor.

IUC Asia Helpdesk held a meeting with Muar City representative on 14 October 2020 to finalize the Climate Action Plan (CAP).  The discussion revolved around a proposal of mitigation actions and adaptation goals, along with its correlated actions – based on the recent Greenhouse gases and Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) completed by UTM and CDP.

Muar accounted for 1,620 kilo ton of GHG emissions in 2017, with GHG emission per capita was estimated at 5.8 tCO2eq.   The GHG inventory accounted for emissions from the following sources:

  1. stationary energy use from industrial, residential, and commercial, including agriculture activities (63% of total emission).
  2. transportation (32% of total emission).
  3. waste treatment (5% of total emission).

The stationary energy comprised emission from industrial (33%), commercial building (16%); residential building (12%), and agriculture activities (1%).

Based on the completed GHG inventory, UTM suggested setting the target of a 63% emission intensity reduction by 2030 compared to the base year 2010. Meeting these goals would require improving the effort on sustainable energy and the green industry. As the manufacturing, agroindustry, and service sectors (institution and tourism) are the main engine of growth for the district of Muar, sustainable energy and green industry strategies are important to enable the transition of Muar district to low carbon district.

Given the increased risk of monsoon and flood, the meeting proposed to establish the adaptation goal to reduce property damage due to monsoon and flooding by 50% by 2030 compared to 2017. The additional goals were suggested in relation to the risk of saltwater intrusion and forest fire.  To address all those climate risks, the adaption actions focused on conservation of biodiversity as Muar has a large reserve of forest reserve and coastal wetland. Promotion of “Stop Open Burning,” especially in the area near-permanent forest campaign, was worthy of consideration.

There was a discussion on priority actions related to sustainable energy and the green industry. The planned actions should include industrial symbiosis, circular economy, composting, material recycling facilities, energy efficiency improvement, use of renewable energy from PV and biogas as well as the application of green technology. Specifically, the PV technology as a promising project would be developed in the near future; with the expected additional assistance from Gap Fund.

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