Air pollution control for Malaysian cities: transport and industry

Project description

Title: Air pollution control for Malaysian cities: transport and industry
Commissioned by: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)
Country: Malaysia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, Department of Environment
Overall term: 2002 to 2006

Context

Because Malaysia, a newly industrialising country, is developing quickly, it has to contend with increasing air pollution generated by transport and industry. Other examples in Asia show that urban air pollution harbours substantial health dangers and inhibits the development of urban agglomerations. In this light, Malaysia’s development into a modern and sustainably managed industrial country requires a modern comprehensive environmental policy, including air pollution control.

Objective

The Malaysian Department of Environment and other offices concerned with air pollution control are to be enabled to implement pollution control measures. The air quality in greater urban areas is to be sustainably improved.

Approach

At the national level, the project advises the Malaysian Department of Environment in developing and implementing a modern air pollution control policy. Exhaust emission ceilings for vehicles and industry are defined together with the partner authority, for example. Joint solutions are developed for monitoring compliance with these limits. Improving fuel quality is especially important, since this is the only way to meet modern exhaust emission standards for new vehicles and reduce emissions from old vehicles. Improving the quality of data on the causes and consequences of air pollution (air monitoring network, emission register, health studies) gives the authorities an effective basis for environmental policy decisions, while at the same time creating transparency for the public. At the municipal level, local public transport and non-motorised transport are promoted. The development of environmentally sensitive urban transport is explained in workshops for industry, media and universities. In addition, environmental communication and intensive information campaigns for project activities raise the awareness of broad segments of the population about the importance of the environment. Activities at the international level include promotion of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities and private sector technology transfer between Malaysia and Europe.

Results achieved so far

A fuel quality regulation will be adopted in 2005 which will reduce pollution emissions from vehicles by 15 to 20 percent. Initial drafts were also prepared for European exhaust norms currently in force for vehicles, and for modern exhaust regulations for Malaysian industry, based on European standards. These will further reduce pollution.

The project also conducted studies on the use of Malaysian natural gas and supported the relevant proposals at the policy level. Natural gas is considered a cleaner fuel and, in view of high oil prices, offers an alternative to petrol and diesel fuel.