World Cities Day: Accelerating Low Carbon Cities in Malaysia through the GTALCC Project

World Cities Day: Accelerating Low Carbon Cities in Malaysia through the GTALCC Project

In Malaysia, urban areas occupy less than 5 percent of the total land area but are home to more than 70 percent of the population, making the country one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in Asia. Correspondingly, carbon emissions in Malaysia are high compared to other countries at similar stages of development. These emissions mainly relate to urban settings, where the energy sector (including electricity and transportation) makes up 80 percent of total emissions.

Sustainable urban development has an important role to play to reduce energy demand and decrease emissions. Cities in Malaysia must decouple its economic growth and carbon emissions, or risk being locked into unsustainable development pathways. Though a national goal to limit carbon emissions has been set, major barriers still limit the widespread adoption of low carbon integrated development within Malaysian cities.

With funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UNDP-GEF project titled Green Technology Application for the Development of Low Carbon Cites (GTALCC) is rolling out sustainable city solutions and strengthening institutions and policy frameworks to enable the transition towards low carbon cities. Five cities (Putrajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, Cyberjaya, Petaling Jaya and Hang Tuah Jaya) are chosen as pilot cities to adopt policies and processes in city planning to urgently address the climate crisis in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In conjunction with World Cities Day on 31st of October, and with this year’s theme on “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”, the Green Technology Application for the Development of Low Carbon Cities (GTALCC) Project is showcasing several key innovative initiatives that the project and its partners are working on.


These key initiatives are:


National Low Carbon Cities Master Plan (NLCCMP)

The National Low Carbon Cities Masterplan is a national-level policy document that outlines the direction and plans for the transition towards low carbon cities in Malaysia. It defines what is required for a city to declare itself as a low carbon city and provides implementation actions required by the Federal, State and Local governments to promote a low carbon cities agenda. The Masterplan will consolidate and streamline all national policies to provide clarity for cities to embark on their low carbon journey. The Masterplan will be officially launched by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) in the first quarter of 2020.



Peer Review for the Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (IMBRT)

The GTALCC project is supporting the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to independently review the design and specifications of the planned Bus Rapid Transit System in the Iskandar Malaysia region. The Peer Review will provide input to the BRT’s design and future operations to enable GHG emissions reductions and to support the Low Carbon Society (LCS) 2025 vision for Iskandar Malaysia region.

Karl Fjellstrom, consultant for the Peer Review of IMBRT sharing his knowledge and experience on BRT to stakeholders in Iskandar Malaysia on 30th October 2019 


Solar PV for Urban Spaces in Putrajaya

This proposed demonstration project aims to utilize urban spaces such as public car parks and walkways in Putrajaya for the installation of PV systems. The power generated from these panels will be provided to neighboring buildings, allowing them to consume more renewable energy than a rooftop PV installation can produce. At the same time public facilities will be upgraded in terms of roof cover that will provide shading and shelter. The current Net Energy Metering (NEM) programme implemented by the project’s lead consultant, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia will be leveraged for this concept project. This demonstration project is currently being finalized with key stakeholders- Putrajaya Corporation as the local authority and Putrajaya Holdings as the asset owner.

Concept visuals of proposed Solar PV Panel cover on the rooftop of multi-storey parking building behind the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia in Putrajaya


E-Bicycle Programme for Putrajaya and Cyberjaya

This initiative aims to encourage cycling for official businesses of the local authorities. The GTALCC project contributed five (5) electronic bicycles each to Putrajaya Corporation and Sepang Municipal Council. These E-bicycles are pedal assisted bicycles, where the rechargeable electric battery inside the bicycle helps push the bicycle while the cyclists pedals resulting in less fatigue and better distances in Malaysia’s tropical climate. In addition these e-bicycles are fitted with GPS tracking for the GTALCC project team to monitor and measure the GHG emission reductions from the bicycle usage. The bicycles are used by the two local authorities to commute for meetings and for enforcement rounds within their vicinity, to replace cars and motorbikes for short journeys.

President and Senior Management of Putrajaya Corporation and UNDP at the hand-over ceremony at PPj Complex
Sepang Municipal Councillors trying out the E-Bicycles at the Hand-Over Ceremony at Bangunan MP Sepang


About the GTALCC Project

The GTALCC Project is a five (5) year project beginning in mid-2017 that removes barriers to integrated low carbon urban planning and development in selected Malaysian cities. This achieved through three (3) components; 1) Policy Support, 2) Awareness & Institutional Capacity and 3) Demonstration Projects. GTALCC is a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)- Global Environment Facility(GEF) project that is implemented by the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) with the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia as its lead consultant. For more information please visit