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Malaysia pledges 45% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia, the world's second-largest producer of palm oil, pledged to cut projected greenhouse gas emissions 45 per cent by 2030 after world leaders met in Paris to open talks on combating climate change.

The Southeast Asian nation will lower its emissions relative to 2005 levels, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday in a statement posted on his personal blog.

The target for 2030 consists of a 35 per cent cut on an unconditional basis and further 10 per cent reduction based on climate finance and technology transfer.

"This new target shall not and should not be seen as an impediment to our economic development," Najib said. Malaysia's green policies and initiatives could establish new industries and businesses that create jobs, he said.

Malaysia has boosted forest cover and earmarked more such land for protection, planting more than 50 million trees and over 2,500 hectares of mangroves since 2011 as it sought to preserve its natural resources and prevent environmental degradation. Six years ago in Copenhagen it set a target of cutting emissions by as much as 40 per cent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. The government said it had achieved a 33 per cent reduction as of end-2013.

Policy makers are meeting in Paris for two weeks of talks on a deal intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The planet is halfway to dangerous levels of global warming, with the average temperature for 2015 set to eclipse last year's record, the United Nations said.

Island nations most at risk from rising sea levels and other developing nations want the industrialized world to provide money to help them mitigate the effects of climate change and subsidize their own transitions from carbon-emitting fossil fuels.