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Low-Carbon Mandate from Building Sector

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

The polls conducted among the participants of the building sector roundtable discussion sessions showed a clear mandate for climate action

In July 2021, two roundtable discussions were held with private sector stakeholders in the Malaysian property and construction sector. The first two sessions focussed on how to reduce embodied and operational carbon in the built environment. The results of the online polls conducted among the participants during the events were strikingly clear: It is time for real climate action in the construction sector.

There is a growing understanding that climate change poses a real threat and that it is caused by human activity, namely by the release of carbon and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. As such, in the 1st roundtable discussion, 91% of the respondents thought that Malaysia should set a Net Zero Emissions target by 2050. Moreover, 87% thought that Malaysia should introduce a carbon tax.

In the 2nd roundtable discussion, the participants were even more adamant about Malaysia setting a net zero emissions target, with 55% wanting it sooner than year 2050 and only 3% wanting it later. With respect to advancing net zero operational energy in buildings, almost two-thirds of the respondents thought mandatory regulation is right way to go. With regards to providing fiscal incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings, 87% were in favour.

The participants were also asked about what minimum energy efficiency targets for 2030 should be set in the Malaysian building energy standard (MS1525: Energy Efficiency and use of Renewable Energy for Non-residential Buildings). Most respondents (73%), wanted MS1525 to see a 50% energy savings target, and 10% of the respondents wanted an even more ambitious target. For 17% of the respondents, an energy savings target of 30% was sufficient by 2030.

With respect to lowering the embodied carbon in the building sector, most respondents (41%) believed there was a need for more awareness and capacity building. Other responses included, the use of low-carbon building materials (30% of respondents) and the use of industrialised building systems, IBS (10% of respondents).

The overall conclusions were clear in these private sector roundtable discussions on how to reduce carbon in the building environment: The participants gave a clear mandate for the Malaysian government to set ambitious and mandatory low-carbon targets, and also welcomed the introduction of carbon taxation.

Read summary article in @green magazine, Oct-Nov 2021 issue. See pdf article above or direct link to online magazine (click).


The roundtable discussions were organised by the CEO Action Network (CAN) and Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM). The speakers were:

Roundtable discussion no. 1: Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment

  • Darshan Joshi, ISIS, "Carbon Tax in Malaysia"

  • Ir. M. Ramuseren, CIDB, "Carbon Emission in Malaysian Construction. Case study"

  • Yasotha Chetty, OHR Engineering, "Low Carbon Structural Building Materials"

  • Ts. Dr. Foo Chee Hung, MKH Berhad, "Challenges of IBS"

Moderator: Gregers Reimann, GreenRE / EUROCham Malaysia

View event on YouTube:

Download slides and read Q&A from MCG website:

Roundtable discussion no. 2: Reducing Operational Carbon in the Built Environment

  • Zulkiflee Umar, Suruhanjaya Tenaga (ST), "Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Malaysia"

  • Ar. Zulkifli Zahari, Malaysia Association of Energy Service Companies (MAESCO), "A Roadmap Towards Zero Energy Buildings by 2050-MAESCO Perspective"

  • Davis Chong, Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA), "How Solar Energy Can Change Our 2050 Readiness"

  • Ong Pang Yen, Sunway Group, "Race to Zero or Brace for Zero"

Moderator: Ar. Serina Hijjas, Malaysia Green Building Council (MGBC)

View event on YouTube:


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