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Malaysia’s Methane Leadership in COP28: An Opportunity for the Prime Minister to Make a Splash

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In his first address to the UN General Assembly in New York in September this year, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim emphasized the importance of global action on climate change and called on developed countries to deliver on their promise to raise $100 billion a year to support countries’ climate ambitions. Global South.

Malaysia is already experiencing many of the adverse effects of climate change, including higher temperatures, intensified monsoons, and erratic weather patterns, all of which are disrupting local livelihoods and contributing to the degradation of local ecosystems. The country is committed to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and methane is the fastest way to slow the rate of warming.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas. It is the main cause of current global warming, and the world’s oil and gas industry is a major contributor. Oil and gas facilities now offer the fastest, most economical and easiest way to reduce methane emissions.

Malaysia’s Methane Leadership in COP28: An Opportunity for the Prime Minister to Make a Splash

Malaysia has committed to reduce methane emissions, especially from the oil and gas industry. The government and the national oil and gas company, Petronas, have taken a number of steps, including

Implementing regular leak detection and repair programs
Upgrading and replacing outdated equipment
Adopting best practices in methane management
As Malaysia develops its National Gas Roadmap with input from the COP28 Advisory Group on Climate Change, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) would like to invite the Malaysian government to consider the following policy options to achieve its energy transition and net-zero emissions goals:

National Methane Emission Reduction Policy. Approximately 80% of free methane emission reduction actions come from the oil and gas sector. A national policy would provide a clear framework for action and help ensure that Malaysia takes advantage of all available opportunities to reduce methane emissions.
Impose a domestic fee on methane emissions from oil and gas facilities. This would incentivize the oil and gas industry to reduce methane emissions intensity. It would also send a strong signal to Malaysia’s trading partners that Malaysia is committed to low-emission LNG.
Provide policy support for methane innovation. Innovation is key to developing new solutions that will help Malaysia meet its climate goals. The government can support methane innovation by partnering with the United Arab Emirates, another major producer, to establish a Methane Innovation Center. This would be the first South-South initiative to promote decarbonization.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt last year provided a platform for Malaysia to showcase its methane leadership. Malaysia organized a high-level methane panel with senior climate government and business leaders from the U.S., Canada and Petronas.

In November 2023, Malaysia will host the Asia-Pacific Climate Week to showcase the current government’s commitment to addressing regional climate challenges. The upcoming COP28 in Dubai, UAE, will be an ideal venue for Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim to announce innovative policy programs and showcase the Malaysian government’s climate leadership on the global stage.

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