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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Malaysia ranks 'average' in Green City survey

SINGAPORE is Asia's greenest city, while Kuala Lumpur ranks average in a green city survey, together with the likes of Bangkok, Jakarta, Beijing, Shanghai and Delhi.

This was the finding of the Asian Green City Index survey carried out by the independent Economist Intelligence Unit.

The EIU examines the environmental performance of 22 major Asian cities in eight categories - energy and CO2 (carbon dioxide), land use and buildings, transport, waste, water, sanitation, air quality and environmental governance.

Singapore stands out in particular for its ambitious environmental targets and efficient approach towards achieving them.

"Overall, the index is a good reflection of where Kuala Lumpur stands in terms of its sustainability.

"Ranking average overall is a great start for Kuala Lumpur and this index is a stepping stone for us to move forward to improve our city's livability factor," Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd president and chief executive officer Prakash Chandran said in a statement.

Kuala Lumpur scores well for better-than-average levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and suspended particulate matter. Average daily sulphur dioxide emissions are particularly low here at 6 micrograms per cubic metre.

Kuala Lumpur also ranks average in terms of environmental governance, land use and buildings. With 44 sq m of green space per person, the city is above the index average of 39 sq m.

According to the study, energy and CO2 are among the biggest challenges facing Kuala Lumpur's environmental condition.

"Automobiles have driven annual CO2 emissions per capita past the index average of 4.6 tonnes to an estimated 7.2 tonnes," according to the statement.

Sanitation is also another issue where only an estimated 70 per cent of the city's population has access to sanitation, while a significant number of households are still served by primary sewage treatment plants, such as septic tanks.

Meanwhile, the city centre's waste generation is 816 kg per capita per year, more than double the index average of 375 kg.

Rapid population growth and relatively poor waste collection and disposal played a major factor in determining the scores for the city in this category.

The study also found that Kuala Lumpur was well below average in the water category, due to a combination of relatively high water consumption and one of the highest leakage rates in index, with water leakages running at an estimated 37 per cent, compared with the index average of 22 per cent.

By Business Times

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