Malaysia’s government will offer “credible” cuts in its emissions of carbon dioxide at the Copenhagen climate change summit in a bid to halt global warming, Prime Minister Najib Razak told Reuters on Sunday.

Najib will be among more than 110 world leaders who will meet in Copenhagen next week to attend a summit to try to clinch a deal on deeper emissions cuts by rich nations, steps by developing nations to cut their carbon pollution and finance to help the poor adapt to climate change.

“We are willing to offer our commitment, I am not just going to call on the developed world I am going to commit Malaysia and I am going to commit Malaysia to very credible cuts which means we have to spend, which we will do,” Najib said in the interview.

Najib said the cuts were still being worked on.

The UN has said a full, legal treaty to expand or replace the existing Kyoto Protocol is out of reach at the talks, after two years of troubled negotiations, and is likely to be agreed some time in 2010.

UN data shows Malaysia’s carbon emissions in 2006 stood at 187 million tones or 7.2 tonnes from each Malaysian.

Although that figure is far less than neighbouring Indonesia, which is the world’s third largest emitter with 2.3 billion tonnes or 10 tonnes per capita, according to Indonesian government data, Najib said all nations must contribute.

“It has to be predicated on the fundamental principles of the Kyoto protocol and the UN Framework on Climate Convention,” he said.

“Amongst which the most important being the common but differentiated responsibilities that the developed world must deliver against larger cuts in terms of carbon emissions and that the developing world should be assisted particularly in terms of finanancial assistance, capacity buiding and technology.”

Tight budgets must accomodate climate change

Najib said that despite the current economic turmoil, which has seen the US and Europe plunge into huge budget deficits, the fight against climate change had to take priority.

The UN wants to raise $10bn a year from 2010-12 in quick-start funds to help the poor cope with global warming and move away from fossil fuels. But few nations have offered quick-start cash.

In the longer term, the United Nations estimates the fight against global warming is likely to cost $300bn a year from 2020, largely to help developing nations adapt to impacts such as droughts, floods and heatwaves.

“If we really talking about it we must walk the talk (on funding). Otherwise we are just going to face a very uncertain future and the effects will be quite catastrophic,” Najib said.

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