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Malaysia

Core analysis conducted in November 2023.

Overall NDC Equity Score

Critically Deficient

+

Emissions Reductions

Critically Deficient

The NDC has significant gaps in planning ambitious emissions reductions goals, ignoring the need for sustainble climate action.

+

Gender Justice

Critically Deficient

The NDC has significant gaps in addressing gender mainstreaming, potentially not including gender at all.

+

Youth Inclusion

Insufficient

The NDC made an effort to include young people in the NDC development process, but it insufficiently addresses long-term inclusion.

Summary

Though Malaysia’s contribution to global emissions stands at approximately 0.7%, Malaysia has played an active role in international climate agreements, including by ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. At the national level, Malaysia has established comprehensive climate policies, including the enactment of a National Policy on Climate Change in 2009, complemented by a National Renewable Energy Policy. Notably, Malaysia has consistently upheld its commitment to preserving its forests. This commitment was originally made at the Earth Summit in 1992, and as of 2019, Malaysia maintained forest cover over 54.9% of its total land area, which translates to approximately 18.14 million hectares. As part of its commitment to combat climate change, Malaysia has pledged to reduce carbon intensity relative to its GDP by 45% of 2005 levels by the year 2030. An additional 10% reduction is conditional upon the receipt of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building support from developed countries. This multifaceted approach underscores Malaysia’s dedication to addressing climate change through a combination of mitigation and adaptation measures.

 

Malaysia’s updated NDC report asserts “an inclusive development process involving various stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, the private sector, and academia.” However, it still falls short of substantively addressing gender inequality and youth inclusion in a clear, meaningful way.

 

On gender justice, though there exists a constitutional framework advocating for gender equality, Malaysia appears to have made limited progress in integrating gender-responsive policies into its climate change framework. The National Policy on Climate Change 2009, a cornerstone of Malaysia’s environmental legislation, does not mention any gender elements in its plan or policies. Meanwhile, the NDC only mentions gender as it pertains to disaster risk reduction and merely acknowledges “gender-inclusive” planning without any details that indicate the details of an inclusive process. Moreover, Malaysia grapples with the underrepresentation of women in key decision-making bodies – Malaysia’s Dewan Rakyat, its legislative body, comprises fewer women representatives than what would be expected based on the country’s demographic composition. This underrepresentation and outdated policy has far-reaching implications, as it hampers the development of gender-sensitive policies and solutions.

 

On youth inclusion, Malaysia’s NDC includes specific commitments related to young people in the realms of adaptation and disaster risk reduction; however, does not recognize young people’s active role as change agents in implementing climate change solutions. The recent appointment of a youth representative from 25 esteemed environmental civil society organizations to participate in the Climate Change Consultative Panel, could be used as a foundation to strengthen youth inclusion.

Highlights

  • Malaysia has reduced the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 35.90% compared to the levels recorded in 2005
  • Acknowledges an inclusive development process
  • Outlines specific commitments related to young people in climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • Highlights the vulnerability of women and young people to climate-related disasters

Lowlights

  • Scarcity of gender-disaggregated data
  • Lacks specificity and depth in addressing the factors contributing to gender inequality and the methods for effectively mainstreaming gender considerations
  • Lacks clear pathways for empowering youth as change agents
  • Does not include specific metrics for tracking youth-participation goals in climate decision-making or vulnerabilities to climate change

Key Recommendations

In Malaysia’s updated NDC report, gender and youth references were only found in the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) section, which states its aims “to be more inclusive and mainstream gender, youth and vulnerable groups in adaptation and disaster risk reduction programs.” Further, the lack of inclusion of clear indicators on gender or youth disaggregated data highlight key gaps in understanding the role and potential impact of climate change on women, girls, and young people. 

The limited and surface-level references to women and young people groups within the report do not align with the claimed commitment to inclusivity in climate action. The following are key recommendations for the improvement of future NDCs and other national climate plans:


For Gender Justice

  • Appoint a dedicated gender focal point from Malaysia to the UNFCCC
  • Ensure that gender considerations are integrated across all sectors and initiatives by including specific strategies to address gender inequalities in each sector.
  • Allocate resources specifically for gender-responsive climate action
  • Explicitly identify the factors contributing to gender inequality within the context of climate change and propose targeted actions to address these factors

For Youth Inclusion

  • Implement training and capacity-building initiatives aimed at equipping young individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective engagement in climate action
  • Foster inclusive platforms that enable the active participation of young people in national climate decision-making processes, such as youth forums, public consultations, and dialogues involving government officials and various stakeholders
  • Ensure the inclusion of youth representatives within Malaysia's delegations to global climate conferences, such as the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Incorporate data on the impact of climate change on young people and opportunities for supporting young people in the Green Jobs market
  • Recognize young people as agents of change in climate decision-making and implementation processes
  • Extend financial and organizational backing to organizations with a youth-centric focus on climate issues

NDC Ambassador - Author

Thamisha Steven

NDC Ambassador, Thamisha Steven, holds a degree in Applied Chemistry with a major in Sustainable Chemistry from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP). Her academic background has fueled her passion for environmental sustainability and advocating for diverse perspectives in the development of effective solutions for addressing the urgent issue of climate change. Thamisha aims to continue emphasizing a fair and equitable approach in the climate space, ensuring the inclusion of all.

NDC Ambassador - Author

Puteri Aida Sakeena Binti Abdul Majid

NDC Ambassador, Puteri Aida Sakeena Binti Abdul Majid, passionately drives change in policies, supporting community-led initiatives and governance, Puteri continues to support a just and sustainable transition to a prosperous and healthier world!

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Embracing Climate Equity to Shape an Equitable and Sustainable World

“2024 must be a year of ambitious emissions reduction and support for people facing the worsening effects of climate change. We need youth-led programs that grow understanding and accountability to build a livable future.”