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According to national policy, Malaysia adopts a "precautionary principle" and "no regret" policy that allows for justified action to be taken to mitigate or adapt to climate change, even though there are still scientific uncertainties. Malaysia's national policy on sustainable development is based on a balanced approach such that environment and development complement each other. The principle of sustainable development has been introduced in the chapter on "Development and Environment in the Third Malaysia Plan (1976 - 1980)".

Some of the strategies adopted by Malaysia to address climate change are as follows:

  • The energy sector has been identified as a major contribution of GHGs to the atmosphere.
  • To reduce the heavy dependence on oil, the Government has identified hydro power and gas, besides oil and coal, as the primary sources to meet increasing energy demands.
  • Promotion of energy efficiency among industries and private sectors.
  • Introducing the "Guidelines for energy efficiency in Buildings" which set minimum standards for energy conservation in the design of new buildings.
  • Implementation of public awareness programmes by government agencies and non- government organisations to promote energy efficiency, recycling and use of public transport.
  • Maintenance of an effective forest management and conservation programme to preserve biodiversity and sinks for GHG

According to official legislation, Malaysia has also adopted a pragmatic approach in dealing with climate change and environmental issues in line with the Rio Declaration.

The following list of federal legislation relates to coping with climate change and environmental issues:

  • Environment Quality Act 1974
  • EQ (Clear Air) Regulation 1978
  • EQ (Prescribed Activities) (EIA) Order 1987
  • National Forestry Act 1984
  • Fisheries Act 1985
  • Fisheries Maritime Regulations, 1967
  • Fisheries (Marine Culture Systems) Regulation
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1976
  • Petroleum Mining Act 1986
  • Petroleum Development Act 1974
  • Land Conservation Act 1960
  • National Parks Act 1980