In 2017, Malaysia’s building sector – both residential and commercial – consumed 14.3% of the total energy and 53% of electricity.12 Since 2005, the building sector’s energy demand has grown steadily at 3.4% annually whereas electricity consumption has increased at 6.4% during the same time period.5 The share of electricity in the building sector energy demand under 1.5°C compatible pathways could reach 91-92% in 2030 and 96-98% by 2050 under different scenarios. All scenarios see a rapid decline in direct CO₂ emissions in the sector to around 2 MtCO₂/yr by 2030 and 0.3-0.4 MtCO₂/yr by 2050 from 2019 level of 3.5 MtCO₂/yr, mostly driven by increased electrification rate with high share of renewables in the power mix and increased energy efficiency. Some pathways show that the building sector could be decarbonised by 2033.
Malaysia’s Green Technology Master Plan (GTMP) 2017-2030 has created a framework which facilitates the mainstreaming of green technology into existing initiatives e.g. Green Building Index (GBI), sustainable construction practices and green product directories in building materials. This plan aims for a 1 MtCO₂e emissions reduction from the sector by 2020 from 2013 level (around 22% of 2013 emissions levels).
1 The Edge Markets. Environment ministry to develop LT-LEDS for UNFCCC consideration. The Edge Markets. (2021).
2 Global Forest Watch. Malaysia Interactive Forest Map & Tree Cover Change Data. (2021).
3 WWF. Deforestation Fronts, Drivers and Responses in a Changing World. (WWF, 2021).
4 Malaysia Government. Report on Peninsular Malaysia Generation Development Plan 2020 (2021 – 2039). (2021).
5 IEA. Malaysia. International Energy Agency. (2021).
6 Ministry of Environment and Water. Malaysia Third Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC. (2020).
7 Greenpeace. Southeast Asia Power Sector Scorecard.(2020).
8 British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. BMCC Sector Report 2018/2019: oil, Gas & Energy. (2018).
9 Susskind, L. et al. Breaking Out of Carbon Lock-In: Malaysia’s Path to Decarbonization. Front. Built Environ. 6, 21 (2020).
10 KeTTHA. Green Technology Master Plan Malaysia 2017-2030. (2017).
11 Mustapa, S. I. & Bekhet, H. A. Analysis of CO2 emissions reduction in the Malaysian transportation sector: An optimisation approach. Energy Policy 89, 171–183 (2016).
12 Shaikh, P. H. et al. Building energy for sustainable development in Malaysia: A review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 75, 1392–1403 (2017).
13 Suruhanjaya Tenaga (Energy Commission). Malaysia Energy Statistics Handbook 2019. (2019).
14 PIK. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series. (2021).
15 Lee, J. Affordable EVs in Malaysia – how cheap can electric cars be priced with zero import, excise and road tax? (2021).
16 Malaysia Government. Malaysia Third National Communication and Second Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC. (2018).
17 Using Global Warming Potential AR4.
18 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.
19 LULUCF emissions are projected to be -227 MtCO₂e in 2030 following a business-as-usual scenario reported in Malaysia’s Second Biennial Report.
20 As stated in the NDC. However, Malaysia participated in the Clean Development Mechanism and Voluntary Carbon Market, but these are not accounted as national mitigation actions as noted in the Biennial Report 3.
21 Fuel-efficient vehicles is defined as hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell.
22 The total financial support required totals USD 71,900,000, in additional to technical and capacity building support.
23 In some of the analysed pathways, the energy sector assumes already a certain amount of carbon dioxide removal technologies, in this case bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
Malaysiaʼs energy mix in the buildings sector
petajoule per year
- Natural gas
- Oil and e-fuels
Malaysiaʼs buildings sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)
- Historical emissions
- High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
- Low energy demand
- SSP1 High CDR reliance
- SSP1 Low CDR reliance
1.5°C compatible buildings sector benchmarks
Direct CO₂ emissions and direct electrification rates from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Malaysia
Decarbonised buildings sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
0 to 1
Share of electricity
91 to 92
96 to 98
Share of heat
Share of hydrogen
0 to 1
0 to 3
0 to 3