Vehicle emissions pollute Malaysia's cities | Comment | Environmental business

Malaysia has made some improvements in its air quality since 2005 Formative stageThe y were notified as its air pollution index exceeded 500.

Its most recent year Assessment of air pollution indexReleased last September and the 2022 data analysis, an improvement over the previous year, as the country experienced more humidity and rain in 2022.

Although some progress has been made, vehicle exhaust, industrial activity emissions, and burning of plantations for land clearing and landfill continue. to contribute Poor air quality in Malaysia.

The country has been experiencing haze for decades Accused Partly due to smoke from forest fires blowing from Indonesia.

In recent years, the increase in vehicles on its roads has caused an increase in carbon monoxide in Malaysia's air, especially in its cities.

As Malaysia faces these challenges, forward-looking new initiatives – including policies to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants – will be needed to ensure its air quality does not deteriorate further.

The latest air pollution index indicates that in 2022, Malaysia's urban areas recorded the highest levels of air pollutant PM10. – Inhalable particles of 10 micrometers and smaller in diameter, which can cause adverse health effects – compared to non-urban areas.

One factor affecting Malaysia's air quality is the increasing number of vehicles on the country's roads. The Malaysian Road Transport Department's 2022 Environmental Department report shows a 4.5 percent increase in registered motorcycles in 2022 compared to 2021; In the same year, cars increased by almost 4 percent and vans by almost 2 percent.

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Urban areas also recorded high levels of tropospheric ozone (O3), a secondary air pollutant released primarily on hot days, mostly by industrial emissions and motor vehicle exhausts.

Malaysia also recorded rising carbon monoxide (CO) emissions In recent years Mainly due to increase in fossil fuel powered motor vehicles.

To put these figures into perspective, Malaysia's air quality data isn't all bad: the country has cleaner air than its neighbors Indonesia and Thailand. National emissions data were obtained The overall PM10 levels are significantly lower when compared to other organizations of the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) for Economic Cooperation and Development. (OECD) countries.

However, there are some reasons for concern.

Newly registered vehicles in Kuala Lumpur contribute approximately six percent of these emissions nationwide. Analysis of Urban Air Pollutants was discovered.

The research determined that PM10 emissions from private cars were 214,427 kg, followed by motorcycles at 118,582 kg.

Compared to 2010 (14,605 ​​kg CO and 5,726 kg of NOx in 2014, compared to 9,830 kg CO and 3,854 kg NOx in 2010).

This increase is small compared to other OECD countries. Total emissions for PM10 and NOx It was also lower in Malaysia than most countries in 2022, the Department of Environment report shows.

However, there is some room for improvement: study Malaysia's carbon monoxide emissions were also found to be higher than Asian countries such as Japan and Korea and other European countries.

The number of cars on Malaysia's roads shows no signs of slowing down. The current uptake of electric vehicles is not significant enough to offset these rising vehicle emissions.

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Some Malaysian national policies already in place for better air quality include a national target to reduce carbon intensity relative to gross domestic product (GDP) by 45 percent by 2030; Renewable Energy Act; National Green Technology Policy; National Energy Efficiency Program and National Policy on Climate Change.

Malaysia pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021.

Through these policies, the country is committed to implementing self-remedial measures against the effects of climate change by phasing out coal use, reducing deforestation, converting the use of motor vehicles to electric vehicles and promoting investment in renewable resources.

Reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency in the power generation sector is expected to contribute the most. 70 percent Overall carbon mitigation potential in Kuala Lumpur by 2030.

But more is needed.

As emissions from the transport sector are increasing in Malaysia compared to other OECD countries, Malaysia may consider adopting more green transport initiatives.

On this front, C40 is a member of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall of Cities Climate Leadership Can play a role. Indeed, the issue of climate change significantly encourages the development of more serious, practical and integrated actions, policies and strategies by policy makers and stakeholders in Malaysia to combat air pollution.

Incentives such as tax incentives for users of green technologies, including electric vehicles, should encourage more consumers to use affordable green vehicles that consume less fossil fuel.

Incentives can also be given to the use of energy-efficient vehicles and plug-in hybrid-capable vehicles, which have been successfully implemented in other Asian countries (China, Japan, India), Europe and the United States.

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However, the growth of the electric vehicle industry in Malaysia has been hampered by factors such as high prices, slow infrastructure implementation and technological limitations.

Efforts must be made by stakeholders to address these issues if Malaysia is to successfully combat vehicle-related emissions to avoid further deterioration of its air quality.

Dr Siti Haslina Binti Mohd Shafie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Originally published under Creative Commons By 360 information™.

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