#16: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mitigation Solutions Resiliency for Malaysia’s Carbon Neutrality

The carbon neutrality transition by 2050 is a global pledge to combating climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic deteriorates economic growth and changes socio-behavioural norms during the containment period. Retaliatory rebound in the carbon trajectory curve is witnessed when the economic recovery plan is revived globally. Nevertheless, the residual impact from retaliatory rebound remains uncertain to Malaysia’s short- and long-term carbon mitigation plan to achieve carbon neutrality. Utilizing the Bayesian-optimized artificial neural network (ANN) model (i.e., AI-predictive modelling), the research conducted for this policy brief aims to forecast Malaysia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) retaliatory rebound in post-pandemic based on the historical data of GHG emissions and socioeconomic drivers. Crisis-resistant and climate-resilient post-pandemic carbon mitigation solutions for Malaysia are proposed in this policy brief to dampen the aftermath of GHG retaliatory rebound speculated by the AI-powered predictive model. The research findings revealed the carbon emission retaliatory rebound peaked at 7.36% compared to the no-pandemic scenario, with the energy sector contributing the largest proportion. To transform into carbon neutrality by 2050, Malaysia should strategically propose a quantifiable performance indicator to monitor and track the relevant national policies. The post-pandemic recovery plan for carbon mitigation should focus on green financing, carbon inventory and auditing, solar and bioenergy as main renewable thrusts, electric mobility, and smart digital transition. This policy brief allows policymakers and associated stakeholders to exploit the post-pandemic effect of the retaliatory rebound for the carbon neutrality transition.

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