New Straits Times - - Letters -

SUS­TAIN­ABLE de­vel­op­ment is a key agenda for the world. In Malaysia, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is en­shrined in the Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme, premised on the no­ble agenda of achiev­ing high in­come, but with in­clu­sive­ness and sus­tain­abil­ity.

Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is more than just the en­vi­ron­ment. The en­vi­ron­ment is one of three pil­lars of sus­tain­abil­ity. The other two are the needs of so­ci­ety and the econ­omy.

The United Na­tions, af­ter years of de­lib­er­a­tions among mem­ber states, launched the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) two years ago.

They con­tinue from where the ear­lier Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals (MDGs) left off.

The goals are to guide mem­ber states to for­mu­late na­tional ac­tion plans to sup­port global sus­tain­abil­ity.

These in­clude ac­cess to en­ergy, wa­ter, food, se­cu­rity, wealth, health and op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­sure a good qual­ity of life for all.

The UN iden­ti­fied 17 goals un­der SDGs, in­clud­ing cli­mate change. Cli­mate change is vi­tal as it would not only im­pact other goals but can be im­pacted by other goals.

Ac­cess to sus­tain­able en­ergy is a crit­i­cal goal. Without en­ergy, many ac­tiv­i­ties would cease.

But en­ergy does not mean we can tol­er­ate all en­ergy sources. In­creas­ingly, with a new un­der­stand­ing of global warming and cli­mate change, there is a grow­ing pref­er­ence for the non-fos­sil kinds.

Ex­cept for the United States ad­min­is­tra­tion, where the cli­mate change claim is con­sid­ered a hoax, other coun­tries are re­plac­ing or re­duc­ing their de­pen­dence on fos­sil en­ergy, es­pe­cially coal.

And at a time when the cost of fos­sil is lower, many at­tempts are made to re­duce us­age and be more en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

One im­por­tant sec­tor where en­ergy sav­ing can make a dif­fer­ence to carbon emis­sion is trans­porta­tion.

Coun­tries where the use of cars is pop­u­lar show large carbon foot­prints. The US is known for this.

China has joined the ranks of


The MRT has, in a sin­gle stroke, re­duced the per capita emis­sion of carbon.

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