Headline: Breaking the carbon lock-in: Identifying pathways for Malaysia towards a low-carbon future

The Paris Agreement requires countries to break away from carbon lock-in, a particular challenge for traditional oil and gas producers. How can these countries overcome path-dependencies to shift from a fossil fuel heavy system to one relying on renewable energy? Malaysia epitomizes this challenge: the country is the second-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia whilst the fossil fuel energy sector takes up nearly 80 % of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with coal energy occupying the largest share. To identify leverage points of energy transitions, we model the structural components influencing the Malaysian energy system and assess the dynamics of interrelating factors. Based on stakeholders' input, we identify main factors influencing Malaysia's energy transition, explore their interactions, and use Cross Impact Balances (CIB) to create scenarios. Our analysis reveals the need to simultaneously disperse the centralized political power to a more diverse set of actors whilst introducing green growth recovery packages to break the carbon lock-in. Whilst focused on Malaysia, the findings contribute more generally to our understanding how fossil fuel reliant emerging economies can break path-dependencies inhibiting the clean energy transition.

Publication Year
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Academic Articles

Schuch, E., Apergi, M., Chow, D. Y. K., Eicke, L., Goldthau, A., Kurniawan, J., Lima-de-Oliveira, R., Tan, Z. G., & Weko, S. (2024). Breaking the carbon lock-in: Identifying pathways for Malaysia towards a low-carbon future. Technological forecasting and social change: an international journal, 202: 123331. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2024.123331.

Staff involved
Projects involved
Investigating the Systemic Impacts of the Global Energy Transition (ISIGET)