Green Technology Application for the Development of Low Carbon Cities (GTALCC)

What is the project about?


The objective of the project is to facilitate the implementation of low carbon initiatives in at least five Malaysian cities and showcase a clear and integrated approach to low carbon development.

The objective will be achieved by removing barriers to integrated low carbon urban planning and development through 3 components: 1) policy support for the promotion of integrated low carbon urban development, which will enable cities to implement and adopt integrated low carbon urban development plans and programmes; 2) awareness and institutional capacity development, which will expedite appraisal, approval and the implementation of strategic urban development, and ensure cities are aware of and planning and implementing low carbon technology applications, and; 3) low carbon technology investments in cities, where there is an increase in investment in low carbon technologies with more low carbon projects implemented.

The project will be implemented over 5 years in Cyberjaya, Iskandar Malaysia, Melaka, Petaling Jaya, and Putrajaya. It is expected to generate direct GHG emission reductions of 346,442 tCO2eq by End of Project and 2,152,032 tonnes CO2eq over the lifetime of project investment.

What do we hope to accomplish?

The Project targets 5 urban areas: Putrajaya (Federal Territory), Petaling Jaya (Federal Territory), Iskandar Malaysia (Johor), Cyberjaya (Sepang) and Melaka (with emphasis on Hang Tuah Jaya). These target areas were selected during project development and in consultation with MEGTW, the local authorities and other key stakeholders.

They are not all strictly legally designated as “cities” but represent the different legal entities of Malaysian urban areas and are largely being referred to as cities in the Malaysian context. These include 1 city (Petaling Jaya), 1 municipality (Cyberjaya/Sepang), a federal territory (Putrajaya), a regional authority (Iskandar Malaysia), and a state (Melaka). The Iskandar Malaysia and Melaka areas encompass a further 10 local authorities being Johor Bahru, Johor Bahru Tengah, Kulai, Pontian and Pasir Gudang), and Melaka (Hang Tuah Jaya, Melaka Bandaraya Bersejarah and Alor Gajah).

The project has for its goal the reduction of the growth rate of GHG emissions from cities in Malaysia. The overall objective of the Project is to facilitate the implementation of low carbon initiatives in at least five Malaysian cities and to showcase a clear and integrated approach to low carbon urban development. This objective will be realised through the removal of the key barriers to the adoption by cities of green technologies and their use for low carbon green development. The Project is structured into three components comprising: 1) Policy Support, 2) Awareness and Institutional Capacity Development, and 3) Low Carbon Technology Investments in Cities.

Policy Support

This component will address the strengthening of planning and development policies, standards and guidelines regarding low carbon integrated urban development and local capacity to implement central Government policies. The expected outcome of this component is that major cities implement and adopt integrated low carbon urban development plans and/or programmes. The component will eventually lead to clear direction and mandatory guidelines to local authorities, policy makers, project developers and others on low carbon integrated urban development. The following outputs will contribute to achieving the outcomes:

Approved city policies, legislations and regulations and strengthened enforcement systems for integrated low carbon urban development. While the national policy context for green technology and climate change are well defined by the NGTP and NPCC, this output is designed to strengthen the ability of local authorities to induce transformative low carbon local development. The MEGTW is planning a review and update of green technology and climate change related policy, planning and development standards and guidelines, inter alia the LCCF, in the context of the revised NPP and NUP, and table for adoption by state and local authorities. The review will also recommend entry points in the existing policies to strengthen alignment with low carbon guidelines such as the LCCF and FDCTP’s Green Neighbourhood Guidelines (GNG). Close engagement of city stakeholders is envisaged during the review process to ensure revised policy, standards and guidance will be adopted by states and local councils.

Established GHG accounting framework and decision-making tools for national and sub-national levels. This output comprises of a city-wide framework for accounting of GHG emission and suitable tools to enable cities to undertake evidence-based decision making for planning and policy.  The output will ensure connections with national level so that a bottom-up national GHG account may be envisaged. As outlined in the baseline section 1.5.1, the activities associated with the LCCF (such as identifying and setting criteria for the collection of baseline data and development of baseline scenarios; establishing standardised data collection methodology for participating cities); as well as those related to LECB Programme (such as sector specific GHG inventory planning and capacity building, and national level GHG data collection procedure and system) are considered as related baseline activities.

Completed and approved evidence-based low carbon development plans and investment programmes for cities and precincts. The delivery of this output will draw on the guidelines of Output 1.1.1 and the data and tools available from Output 1.1.2 to provide a practical demonstration of evidence-based low carbon integrated urban development planning in the participating cities. The participating cities have adopted low carbon frameworks such as the LCCF to guide low carbon development. The on-going and planned activities under these initiatives comprise the baseline activities. In particular, those described under section 1.5.4 such as (a) the LCCF supported activities in estimating baseline emissions and identifying priority sectors, (b) review and update of local plans such as the ‘Integrated Precinct Level Special Area Plan’ in Putrajaya; Low Carbon Blueprint in Iskandar Malaysia; and, local and special area plans in Melaka. Through the review of local planning guidelines and capacity development of council staff to strengthen delivery of regulatory services, the planning effectiveness - including decision making with regards to land-use and zoning (e.g., in planned development areas of cities) will be improved.

During the course of the Project, participating cities such as Putrajaya, Petaling Jaya and Cyberjaya are considering to undertake at least one new low carbon plan for a local precinct within the context of their municipal-level plans, whereas Melaka and Iskandar will undertake both a municipal-level plan for one of the municipalities and a precinct plan.               

Awareness and Institutional Capacity Development.

This component will address the lack of awareness and technical capacity and strengthen the institutional arrangements of national ministries, state and local level for low carbon climate resilient development and integrated urban planning. The expected outcomes of this component are: the expedient appraisal, approval and implementation of strategic urban development plans/program and projects, and; major cities are aware of, and are planning and implementing low carbon technology applications for integrated urban development. This component together with the experiences and tools demonstrated in Component 1 will reduce, if not eliminate, the pertinent information barriers, as well as the institutional capacity shortfalls in planning, implementing and monitoring of integrated urban development. It is expected that the outputs will benefit policy makers at the national and subnational levels, private sectors and public as a whole.

Strengthened and operational coordination mechanisms for effective implementation of low carbon city policy. This output will be used in strengthening coordination both vertically between federal and local levels, and horizontally across stakeholders at each level. There are no plans under the BAU scenario to establish an operational mechanism therefore the proposed set of activities under this output are fully additional.

Completed training programs for policy decision makers, local governments, green practitioners and financing institutions on strategic urban planning processes for low carbon and climate resilient development. The baseline activities comprise the awareness and capacity development activities that are being imparted as a part of the (a) LCCF (such as trainings on low carbon planning, design, financing; and the on-going formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies); (b) LECB (on institutional arrangements on GHG Inventories, database management, etc.). The baseline activities also includes existing training on integrated development currently provided by MUWHLG through the Local Government Training Institute (LGTI), and by the Malaysian Institute of Planners.

Operational knowledge management systems for low carbon city development. The output will enhance current knowledge management systems associated with low carbon cities in Malaysia that presently are ad-hoc or top-down driven. The baseline activities contributing to this output is related to the (a) review and update of LCCF to ensure that lessons and best practice are used to refine and evolve the framework, strengthen ownership by cities and that it is adopted and implemented in all participating cities as appropriate; (b) MEGTW will enhance its existing clearinghouse services to a national clearinghouse for low carbon cities information and knowledge products; strengthen a collaborative approach by establishing clear terms and agreements for information sharing, visibility, and utility. The activity will identify the suitable clearinghouse agency, additional computing and physical resources to ensure clearinghouse materials are accessible online. Additionally, MEGTW’s annual International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) forms the baseline activity.

Low Carbon Technology Investments in Cities

This component will address barriers to access and investment in green technologies within an integrated urban development context. Financing and incentive mechanisms will be facilitated to drive investment in green technologies. Importantly, concrete investment activities will be directly supported to ensure that investments are made during the course of the project. The expected outcomes of this component are: increased investment in low carbon technology applications in cities, and more low carbon projects implemented in Malaysian cities. The following outputs will contribute to achievement of these outcomes:

Applied design considerations into BRT for enhanced GHG emission reduction potential. This output will enhance the operation of the BRT Phase 1 system in Iskandar Malaysia and improved the design of BRT Phase 2. As the BRT Phase 1 construction and operation will commence soon (see section 1.5.4), a comprehensive BRT Operational Management Systems (BOMS) will be developed to support and monitor the operations and delivery of coordinated transportation services, and provide customer information. Separately, the BRT Phase 2 feasibility and detailed engineering design is being planned.

Leveraged investments to support the scaling up of low carbon public transport systems. This output addresses a key barrier to the uptake of low carbon vehicles by facilitating a dedicated financing mechanism to assist public transport operators adopt low carbon vehicles. The delivery of this output will entail building on the successful demonstrations of electric buses undertaken by MEGTW and MGTC, which have identified financing risks as a barrier to operator investment. The planned Green Mobility Fund is the key baseline activity (as described in section 1.5.3) and is intended to provide financing and risk mitigation measures to public bus transport providers to convert to low carbon transport options. MEGTW will design and implement the financing scheme. GEF funds will not be used as seed capital but will provide technical assistance to strengthen the design and operation of the Fund. The baseline activities also include the on-going trials of electric and hybrid buses by MEGTW, Putrajaya and Melaka for city routes.

Validated and scaled-up green technology incentive scheme in target cities for households and SMEs. This output strengthens the existing baseline project, the Green Rebate Scheme in Petaling Jaya and the proposed project in Cyberjaya/ Sepang that provides rebates to households on their land assessment tax for adopting a suite of green technologies and practices (as described in section 1.5.4). It is primarily a financing and incentive project which directly promotes investment by households and SMEs in green technology. This output will result in coalescing of other sources of incentive funding, a broadening of the scope for green technology investments, and a scaling-up to enhance participation.

Leveraged investments in low carbon urban systems based on low carbon development plans. The activities that will deliver this output will build on the planning undertaken in Output 1.1.3 and will involve cities to mobilise investment according to their plans. In particular, the delivery of this output includes preparation of technical design and implementation documentation for priority integrated urban systems projects specifically identified in the plans of Output 1.1.3. Financing through non-traditional financing options will be pursued, such as public private partnership opportunities, feed-in tariff concessions. These will be pursued through direct facilitation of deals with private sector and through collaboration with sector ministries and private investment promotion agencies. The output will catalyse investment opportunities arising from the planning actions of Component 1 and strengthen the incentive for local council to continue to take a low carbon integrated approach. GEF support is required for technical assistance in the preparation of the project designs and mobilising investment and build partnerships.

Approved pilot NAMA proposal for low carbon urban development. The delivery of this output facilitates the Government of Malaysia to ensure sustainable financing option by developing a NAMA proposal for low carbon urban development. GEF incremental activities will extend the baseline activities of the LECB programme that supports the development and capacity building work related to national and sectoral NAMA frameworks including identification of design options and implementation arrangements, financing framework and MRV systems. Delivery of the output will closely align with the work conducted under Component 1. Activities will require careful coordination with MNRE on the national NAMA activities.

Operationalised electric vehicles and charging station infrastructure. This output builds on the enabling actions of Component 1, in particular Output 1.1.1 and Output 1.1.3 that strengthen the capacity of cities to plan and develop an integrated approach, in this case to last-mile mobility solutions and the adoption of low carbon personal transport options. This output will demonstrate for cities the benefits of working with local entrepreneurs to develop an integrated service platform for EVs. The baseline activities are those related to the EV cars and bike sharing initiatives (described in section 1.5.4) where the private sector operators are developing an EV ecosystem across Malaysia cities. COMOS is planning significant expansion of its services in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Penang. Eclimo is planning expansion to Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, Penang. In this endeavour, a strong collaboration between private sector and local authorities is essential to ensure that EVs are integrated into urban planning. The EVs targeted at improving last-mile connectivity will be promoted, thereby, enhancing other public transport modes. Strengthening of local planning will ensure EV infrastructure eco-system supports enhanced connectivity and reduced car ownership.

A commissioned BRT system operating in Iskandar Development Region. The implementation of the BRT system in Iskandar Malaysia is one of the main demonstration pieces of the Project and will be enhanced through the GEF incremental activities highlighted in Component 1 and with specific enhancement from Outputs 3.1.1 and 3.1.2. In particular, Component 1 will support at least two cities in Iskandar Malaysia, who currently do not have any low carbon plans in place, to prepare low carbon plans which will integrate the regional BRT initiative with local mobility and other sectors issues. The activity being the construction and commissioning of BRT Phase 1 and 2 in Iskandar Malaysia.

A commissioned city cycleway in Putrajaya. This output strengthens the progress towards Putrajaya’s Green City 2025 Action 1, sub-action 1-1, which is to make Putrajaya a “Bikeable and Walkable city”. Putrajaya will be supported under Component 1 to undertake a precinct level plan with a view to showcasing the benefits of an integrated approach to non-motorised transport planning. This output will ensure that the cycleway will be demonstrated and effective in the context of the local plan. This will maximise the potential for non-motorised interconnectivity between residential areas and office areas in order to promote use of bicycles (including electric bikes proposed under Output 3.2.1) by commuters and tourists. The baseline activities include the planning, design and operation of the cycleway. Programmes for rider safety and awareness raising and a community-based marketing to promote cycling as a healthy alternative for fun and the daily commute will be developed and implemented.

Operationalised on-site waste processing projects in Petaling Jaya. Private sector service provider, CH Green Sdn. Bhd. is planning to introduce at least 95 on-site waste treatment plants of different capacities in Petaling Jaya. This is expected to result in a total daily throughput of approximately 23.5 tonnes of compostable waste. In collaboration with the private service providers the council will develop awareness raising and marketing programmes, and a monitoring systems for the operation will be established. It will strengthen partnerships between Petaling Jaya council, and technology and service providers and remove barriers to the scaling-up of onsite composting and biogas production.


Who finances it?


Donor Amount (USD)
2015 Total resources required:             
  Federal & Local Govt $55,258,266
  UNDP $354,000
  Cost Sharing $50,000
  Leveraged Co-finance - Private Sector $ 164,136,278

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