Table of Contents IntroductionPage 3 Problem IdentificationPage 4 Literature ReviewPage 5 – 7 Objective of the StudyPage 8 – 9 Research PlanPage 10 Time Line and ResourcesPage 11 – 12 ReferencesPage 13 A RESEARCH PROPOSAL To: Director Climate Change Project Prime Minister Office Project Putrajaya 52100 Malaysia From: Zaimah Hassan Date:1st Jan 2010 Subject: A Research Proposal on the Climate Change Phenomena in Malaysia INTRODUCTION There is no doubt now that climate change and global warming are synonymous.
This phenomenon is felt worldwide and is continuing to wreck havoc which has created the “greenhouse” effect. Climate change is a result of human actions, it didn’t occur naturally. Nine of the eleven hottest years in the 20th century have occurred since 1985, which is not consistent with a natural trend. Studies show that the surface temperature of the earth has been increasing at a rate of 0. 17 degrees Celsius per decade. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may alter the surface temperature through the “greenhouse” effect.
These altered environmental states change the living conditions of organisms and animals that transmit diseases, and will lead to specific health problems, ranging from increases in infectious diseases to problems due to heat stress, among others. Any restrictions that are put forward must balance the needs of the environment with the needs of industry. Unfortunately, it will hurt many economies, the only question is which countries will it pose a threat to, and by how much. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
The climate change phenomena in Malaysia are noticeably felt and can no longer be ignored. Industries are booming fast, everyone has at least a car and emissions of toxic gasses are constantly being released in the air hence creating unwanted pollutions, which in the long run does damage to the environment, may it be the ozone layers or down to the fast declining instability marine ecosystem life. We should address and find possible ways, no matter how small, to minimize every possible causes which would bring catastrophy of enormous proportions.
Cumulative scientific evidence compiled by the United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change in its series of assessment reports since 1990 coupled with the Stern Review a study commissioned by the UK Treasury looking at the economic impact of climate change brought home the painful reality that climate change left unchecked poses a clear and present danger to mankind’s common future. Indeed this phenomenon is too real, too important and arresting and reversing it should be our topmost priority.
As earth is mankind’s only home, becoming mere spectators as it turns unsafe for human habitat is no longer an option. Combating climate change calls for decisive local action and global collective endeavor, the place to act is here while the time to act is now. Recent years saw the effects of climate change being brought to our shores. Devastating monsoon floods hit Malaysia in December of 2005 and 2006 and again in January of 2007 with losses estimated at 4 billion ringgit. Climate change not only influences the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events but also has adverse impact on agricultural yields, iodiversity, forests, availability of clean water and increases in diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. At a more extreme level, climate change leads to forced migration as sea level rises and coastal and low-lying areas become flooded. Climate change will spare no country, the tasks ahead of us now is what we should do, both at the national and international levels. LITERATURE REVIEW Among the key initiatives taken by the Malaysian government in the fight against global warming has been in the fields of renewable energy.
The policy of Renewable Energy (RE) as the fifth fuel has been formulated by the Malaysian government to diversify the traditional sources of fuel which to include renewable energy such as biomass, biogas, and municipal waste, solar and mini-hydro. In order to encourage the generation of energy using biomass, companies which undertake such activity have been provided tax incentives while to promote the usage of renewable energy for power production, the government has established a programme called Small Renewable Energy Programme (SREP).
Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, new sources of energy such as solar and wind will be developed with an emphasis on utilising cost-effective technology as well as strengthening capacity building. In this regard, efforts will be undertaken to coordinate R&D activities of the various energy related research centres. Efforts to promote the development of bio fuel using palm oil as a renewable source of energy have been undertaken by the Malaysian government in line with the initiative to make Malaysia a world leader and hub for palm oil. Designated pump stations, to supply diesel blended with 5% methyl ester has already commenced operation in 2006.
For the initial phase, the blended diesel will be utilised by vehicles of selected government agencies. It is also important to realize that countries will commit themselves to the climate change efforts at the international level only if such efforts are same with those of national interests. In practical terms, this means that different types of targets, fixed, conditional and sectoral will have to be in place so that all countries can participate effectively. All national development efforts, especially those of developing countries, must incorporate climate change aspects. Efforts that advance social and economic development ogether with poverty eradication objectives will simultaneously address greenhouse gas emissions. However, national efforts need to be complemented at the international level by efforts from developed countries to provide capacity building, technology and finance to developing countries. Climate change presents us with both a threat and an opportunity. The threat at length, is undeniable that climate change also provide us an opportunities to reexamine our lifestyle. Without a long hard look at how we consume the worlds’ resources at the micro level we will not be able to start a sustainable effort to reverse climate change.
That is why suggestions have been made to have personal carbon rationing, which is supported by the equity principle of equal shares for everyone. As part of a global agreement, per capita rationing would ensure that people would only be able to pollute up to their equal rations and beyond that, they would have to buy credits from those who have not utilized their rations fully. The whole idea of personal carbon rationing is to ensure that people adjust their life styles to less carbon intensive ways. For companies, the opportunities to gain from climate change are tremendous.
We already know that waste to wealth industries are on the increase and entrepreneurs should seize the opportunities that present themselves to enter new markets that cater to green products and technology. As governments around the world tighten laws and regulations in efforts to fight climate change, only companies that produce energy efficient products and products that are less carbon intensive will be able to prosper. We inherited an environment and climate that allowed our generation to lead a healthy, fruitful and productive life.
It should therefore be our job to pass a healthy and livable earth for the next generation, and should have positive results for the global climate change agenda. Global warming is an increase in the earth’s temperature due to fossil fuels, industry, and agricultural processes caused by human, natural, and other gas emissions. This results in an increased emission of greenhouse gases. Short-wave solar radiation sinks into the Earth’s atmosphere and warms its surface; while long wave infrared radiation emitted by earth’s surface is absorbed, and then re-emitted by trace gases.
Climate changes occur in our earth’s atmosphere due to a buildup of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases can occur naturally as well as a result of human activities. Problems can occur when higher concentrations of greenhouse gases are present in our atmosphere because they have enhanced our earth’s heat trapping capability. The name is misleading because in some places, it will actually become colder. The majority of scientists believe global warming is a process underway and that it is made by humans. The greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.
These gases occur naturally. The Earth uses those gases to warm its surface. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels, wood, and wood products are burned. Each greenhouse gas absorbs heat differently. If natural gases did not occur, the temperatures would be 91. 4 degrees cooler than the current temperatures. These gases trap heat and cause the greenhouse effect, rising global temperatures. Human activities add to the levels of these gasses, causing more problems. The burning of solid waste, fossil fuels, and wood products are major causes.
Automobiles, heat from homes and businesses, and factories are responsible for about 80% of today’s carbon dioxide emissions, 25% of methane, and 20% of the nitrous oxide emissions. The increase in agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining contribute a significant share of emissions too. The gases released into the atmosphere are tracked by emission inventories. An emission inventory counts the amount of air pollutants discharged into the atmosphere. These emission inventories are used by many organizations.
Global warming is a danger to a human’s health. Its affect on climate can adversely affect humans. Plagues have been attributed to global warming. An increase in temperature can result in a longer life cycle for diseases or the agents spreading them. Living in a warm area makes egg production a quicker process. Global warming will lead to more precipitation, which enables infectious diseases to be more easily contracted and spread. Effects of global warming on human health might be, in the long run, be detected . Global warming can affect our future ability to obtain food.
As climates change, plants and animals will change, leading to a change in the eating patterns of humans. An increase in precipitation is one result of global warming that could have devastating effects. First, the quality of crops would be affected by an increase in precipitation. Second, increasing rain could lead to an increase in soil erosion. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The idea of this study is to replace the Kyoto Protocol which is due to expire soon. To be effective, though, there must be a mechanism, a commission or agency, to monitor the amount of the gas emissions from the culprit countries on the spot.
Such a body must be managed by the United Nations. It should be armed with the power and authority to enforce compliance with the terms of the treaty, though this is easier said than done. We all know how difficult it is to inspect nuclear facilities in Iran. Still, in the matter of climate change, the agency may be effective if the polluters are pragmatic and sensible. Malaysia should propose the formation of the commission or agency. It is good to see that the government has become proactive in this issue during the CHOGM meeting in Trinidad last week.
All this while, from Rio to Bali, the role to articulate concerns on the impact of climate change on the environment and the livelihood of the people in Malaysia has been played by the vario In Malaysia we have not experienced major disasters. Touch wood. But we are not absolutely immune to the effects of the change in weather patterns? Why are we worried about the melting snow on the Himalayas or the freezing of the ice in the Arctic? These places are very far away from us. This is not true anymore as we are inside that global village. All countries are interdependent.
What happens in other parts of the world affects us here as well to some extent. We begin to worry when the scientists say that as a result of the melting snow in the Himalayas and the freezing of the ice in the Arctic, the sea level the world over will rise. It has risen. us non-government organisations which have been taking part in those meetings. Suddenly we become aware that, at home, along our coasts there are many towns and people. These townships are getting bigger and bigger by the day. More and more housing schemes are built on the mud flats, in the Rampangi area in Sarawak, for example.
Before these swampy marshes were filled with earth or sand, they were subject to flood during high tides. We cannot blame this on the developers. There is no land large enough for a housing scheme away from the coastal areas. Here the land is comparatively cheaper, except for the dumping which costs the earth. There are other economic factors to consider. These housing areas are not far from the town centres and the basic infrastructure is already in place. We begin to console ourselves. Fortunately, we are not within the Ring of Fire and no major earthquake is supposed to occur that may cause a tsunami.
Although we have read reports by the local seismologists that even here we have experienced earth tremors of certain strength on the Richter scale, but these are mere vibrations without doing any damage to buildings or causing big waves like those that devastated the coast of Acheh a few years ago. Are we fully prepared to cope with any major disaster, though? We are being complacent, it seems. No doubt we have flood mitigation measures being constructed or in the pipe line but these do not prevent the rise of the sea level as a result of the global warming, do they?
Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, new sources of energy such as solar and wind will be developed with an emphasis on utilising cost-effective technology as well as strengthening capacity building. In this regard, efforts will be undertaken to coordinate R activities of the various energy related research centres. Efforts to promote the development of bio fuel using palm oil as a renewable source of energy have been undertaken by the Malaysian government in line with the initiative to make Malaysia a world leader and hub for palm oil.
Designated pump stations, to supply diesel blended with 5% methyl ester has already commenced operation in 2006. For the initial phase, the blended diesel will be utilised by vehicles of selected government agencies. In the recently tabled 2008 budget, the Malaysian Government reiterated its commitment to sustainable development. To further promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, the Government proposed several improvements in tax incentives, including increasing the Investment Tax Allowance on expenditures for energy conservation and energy saving initiatives for company use.
RESEARCH PLAN Under the Kyoto Protocol, companies that succeed in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are given a certificate of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) which can be traded. Malaysia supports the implementation of environmentally sound projects which leads to the reduction of GHG, to encourage Malaysian companies’ participation in CDM projects, under the 2008 budget, income derived from trading of CER certificates will be given tax exemption.
The focus sectors are Renewable Energy; Energy Efficiency Improvement; and Waste Management. As of July 2007, 28 projects have been given Host Country Approval and 16 projects are registered with CDM Executive Board. These projects are mostly based on renewable energy. The expected amount of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) generated from these projects is about 1. 8 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. Currently almost 60% of the land area in Malaysia is covered by forest and if tree crops such as rubber, oil palm and cocoa are included the area increases to 77%.
We have been able to achieve this through our policy of sustainable forest management (SFM). Malaysia is committed to the implementation of SFM as enshrined in the resolution of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), as well as the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). To further strengthen this effort Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei have initiated the Heart of Borneo conservation plan, which will protect biodiversity by preserving 220,000 square kilometers of rainforest on the island of Borneo.
However, national actions alone are inadequate in coping with climate change. On the international front, it is clear that in spite of ongoing negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase. The situation has become serious because greenhouse gas concentrations have increased by over one third from 280 ppm (parts per million) pre-industrial to 380 ppm in 2005 and is projected to increase further too anywhere between 540 and 970 ppm in 2100.
TIME LINE AND RESOURCES The conduct of this research should not be looked upon as something minor and in order for us to address and do our part in saving the planet then we will need a time line. To further promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, the Government proposed several improvements in tax incentives, including increasing the Investment Tax Allowance on expenditures for energy conservation and energy saving initiatives for company use. The focus sectors are Renewable Energy; Energy Efficiency Improvement; and Waste Management.
As of July 2007, 28 projects have been given Host Country Approval and 16 projects are registered with CDM Executive Board. These projects are mostly based on renewable energy. The expected amount of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) generated from these projects is about 1. 8 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. On the international front, it is clear that in spite of ongoing negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase.
The situation has become serious because greenhouse gas concentrations have increased by over one third from 280 ppm (parts per million) pre-industrial to 380 ppm in 2005 and is projected to increase further too anywhere between 540 and 970 ppm in 2100. An increase exceeding 3 C would bring great physical, economic and social hardships and even catastrophe while stabilization at levels below 450 ppm would be far too difficult for countries to undertake.
Even if we do not implement personal carbon rationing, we can still reduce our own carbon footprint in many ways including by utilizing public transportation, using more energy efficient consumer products, choosing less fuel guzzling personal transportation and practicing the 3Rs – Recycle, Reduce and Reuse. There are ways that you can help prevent global warming. Car pooling, auditing the energy in your home, buying fuel-efficient cars, and reducing the electricity in your home are ways to help prevent global warming.
You can also write to your local congress representative or your local newspaper in response to stories, which say global warming, does not exist. Government authorities can help by passing laws to reduce emissions from factories. They can also form a treaty with other countries to legally bind limits on emissions of heat trapping gases. The future of emissions damage depends on several factors, demographics, economics, technology, policies and institutional developments. Future predictions do not look good for this planet if nothing is done.
Without the help of emissions control policies, CO2 levels are projected to be 30 -150% higher in 2100. Our renewable resources will be very limited. With cooperation from citizens and government officials, we can slow the effect of global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All national development efforts, especially those of developing countries, must incorporate climate change aspects. Efforts that advance social and economic development together with poverty eradication objectives will simultaneously address greenhouse gas emissions.
However, such national efforts need to be complemented at the international level by efforts from developed countries to provide capacity building, technology and finance to developing countries. Technology transfer and capacity building are essential in our fight against climate change, but still many developing countries lack the financial means to gain new technology. A post-Kyoto framework should also consider what actions must be taken to ensure that the remaining forests in the world are preserved.
It is an interesting idea because it can fight climate change in a cost-effective manner while improving living standards for some people, safeguarding biodiversity, and preserving other ecosystem services. While policies on deforestation must be formulated and controlled by the countries themselves, the international community can benefit from preserving such forests through the carbon market. We are indeed running out of time as we are now aware disasters of catastrophic proportions are happening all around the world that has been linked to climate change and the “greenhouse” effect and before long we will be living in nightmare.
As mentioned earlier our Prime Minister and together with leaders of the world are continuing to find the positive solutions and also resources to prevent and minimize further depletion of our planet caused by the climate change phenomena. REFERENCES MYCJN Malaysian Youth Climate Justice Network – advocate for a bold and just national climate policy (2010). Introduction of Climate Change in Malaysia [ONLINE] Available : http://mycjn. org/blog/? p=1335 [2010, February 11] FKA Always Ahead Faculty of Civil Engineering (n. d) My Phd Research Proposal [ONLINE] Available : http://www. ka. utm. my/jhh/tarmizi/default2. asp? active_page_id=619 [2010, February 20] Official website of The Prime Minister’s Office Of Malaysia (2009) [ONLINE] Available: http://www. pmo. gov. my/? menu=speech=1677=114=11 [2010, February 22] AdvancedWriters. com (n. d) Global Warming Research Paper [ONLINE] Available : http://www. advancedwriters. com/blog/global-warming-research-paper/ [2010, February 15] BorneoPostOnline (2009). Coping with climate change [ONLINE] Available : http://www. theborneopost. com/? p=3167 [2010, February 22]