Tuesday, March 19

air pollution levels in 90 per cent of cities in Asia are too high


(From left) Fabian, Madani and Glyndan at the press conference.

KUCHING: According to studies, more than 90 percent of the about 400 cities surveyed in Asia recorded air pollution levels that exceeded the World Health Organisation guideline, said Clean Air Asia deputy executive director Glynda Bathan.

She said at the press conference at the sideline of the Second Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Workshop on Policy Dialogue on Fuel Economy Platform during the Better Air Quality Conference 2018 held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

“We are seeing most of the pollution occurring largely in Asian cities where we also have very high motorisation rate,” she added.

United Nations Environment Programme Air Quality and Mobility Unit programme officer Bert Fabian concurred, saying that “up to 80 percent of air pollution (in big cities) can be sourced from the transport (sector)”.

“Today is very essential for countries to learn from each other because some countries in the region already have effective policies to address fuel efficiency in the transport sector,” said GIZ Thailand/ ASEAN sustainable transport deputy director Friedel Sehlleier.

He stressed that Malaysia can still learn a lot from other parts of the world and also from neighbouring countries despite making progress in the addressing fuel efficiency in the transport sector.

On the challenge faced in promoting better fuel efficiency, Fabian said that getting the stakeholders onboard was crucial in order to have a real and concrete discussion with the private sectors to produce better fuel efficiency vehicles.

Such a stand was also agreed by the Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) head Dr Nuwong Chollacoop.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Dato Madani Sahari appealed the all countries to work together towards lowering carbon footprint and exhaust emission besides promoting better source of energy within the transport sector.

“One country cannot sustain itself in terms of environment (sustainability) if its neighbour countries are polluting the environment.”

At the workshop also saw MAI updated members of the global community on Malaysia initiative on fuel economy development in line with the global initiatives by Global Fuel Economy Initiative.

The National Emission Test Centre (NETC) – located at Rawang Selangor – will be a full-fledge vehicle emissions testing facility in Malaysia and the centre will be operated by MAI.