Policy Design for Low Carbon Society Blueprint in Iskandar Malaysia

Science-to-Policy Approach to Designing the LCSBP-IM2005

The LCSBP-IM2025 is developed from a unique 'academia-policymaker' partnership with the involvement of various stakeholders (local communities; NGOs; businesses and industries; Federal, State and local authorities) along the way. The application of well-tested scientific modelling to inform LCS policies and the promotion of green technologies and industries in the Blueprint towards achieving industrial growth and social well-being and transforming governance are in line with the recent 'Science to Action' (S2A) initiatives championed by the Malaysian Prime Minister (New Partnership for Climate Resilient Development 2014).

Through S2A, the government aims to intensify the application of science and technology as a key pillar of the nation's development and the rakyat's (people's) well-being. In the context of the LCSBP-IM2025, the application of science and technology is in the area of climate change mitigation, environmental protection and urban planning for urban-regional development. It involves the joint efforts between four research institutions from Malaysia (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) and Japan (Kyoto University, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and Okayama University) and also a regional development authority (Iskandar Regional Development Authority) that is responsible for coordinating and enabling development in the Iskandar Malaysia region (see Fig. 7.5).

The overall process as shown in Fig. 7.5 begins with the usual information gathering, analysis and contextual appraisal of current development, carbon emission and policy scenarios in Iskandar Malaysia. This informs the setting of IM's LCS goals and carbon emission reduction target in 2025. These then feed into an iterative process of formulating policy actions, measures and programmes and testing them via the Asia-Pacific Integrated Model (AIM) against the achievement of set goals and targets. The AIM is a suite of scenario-based quantitative

Fig. 7.5 The science/research-policymaking model that emerged from the formulation of the LCSBP-IM2025 and mainstreaming of the Blueprint into the existing development planning institutional framework (Source: UTM-Low Carbon Asia Research Centre 2013a, p. 0–6)

accounting tools that are able to both forecast multiple-scenario GHG emissions and then 'backcast' based on the selected GHG emission reduction scenario to guide timely implementation of policies and allocation of resources in order to achieve the emission reduction target. The AIM has been widely used in many countries and is recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international leading body for the assessment of climate change. The main tool used to forecast GHG emissions of different scenarios in IM – the Extended Snapshot tool (ExSS) – will be explained in more detail below (see Sects. 7.3.2 and 7.3.3).

Stakeholder participation is built into the process at this stage through a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) where proposed actions, measures and programmes are scrutinised by stakeholders and their opinions are gathered and fed back into the policy formulation process. A total of five rounds (nine sessions) of FGDs have been held until the final draft of the Blueprint was ready for consideration for approval by the State Planning Committee (SPC) and subsequent mainstreaming (see UN-Habitat 2012) into the existing development planning framework for implementation.

The LCSBP-IM2025 is therefore formulated based on scientific and quantitative modelling that incorporates cyclical input and feedback from various stakeholders, resulting in practical and feasible LCS policies with improved public acceptance, corporate buy-in and eventual policymaker adoption and implementation of the policies. The Blueprint thus exemplifies effective sustainable development policymaking that is scientifically based and institutionally context sensitive. The holistic and integrated features of the Blueprint are shaped by six interrelated multidisciplinary expert groups from Malaysia and Japan, covering the aspects of Land Use and Scenario Integration; Transportation and Air Quality; Energy Systems; Sustainable Waste Management, Education and Consensus Building and regional development planning and governance (IRDA).

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