KUALA LUMPUR: Climate change has caused the pattern of natural disasters to shift and cause erratic flooding late last year and early this year, which cost the country overall losses of RM6.1bil, says Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin.
In a statement yesterday on the Statistics Department’s (DOSM) Compendium of Environmental Statistics 2022, he said the loss was equivalent to 0.40% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) at nominal price.
He said the compendium also highlighted that the reopening of economic activities through the easing of the Movement Control Order and the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) had various effects on the environment last year, such as the improvement of overall air quality in Malaysia.
“The overall Air Pollution Index (API) recorded good and moderate air quality status for 2021.
API readings showed a decrease in the level of air pollutants, especially in major cities across the country, due to lower air pollutant emissions from motor vehicle smoke, industrial chimney emissions, and open burning activities,” he said in the statement, Bernama reported.
Furthermore, he said the increase in Covid-19 cases also increased the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 test equipment, as well as the opening of new health facilities and quarantine and vaccination centres, which had a direct impact on the management of clinical waste.
“The quantity of clinical wastes increased by 43.9% in 2021 to 57.4 thousand metric tonnes as compared to 39.9 thousand metric tonnes in 2020,” the statement read.
Three states recorded the highest amount of clinical wastes, namely Selangor, which recorded 13,000 metric tonnes, Sarawak (8.3 thousand metric tonnes) and Kuala Lumpur (5.9 thousand metric tonnes.