Climate change issues remain the priority

Our national determine goal is to reduce 45% of carbon emission intensity by 2030, says minister


The government will continue to place issues pertaining to climate change as a priority, while pushing for more efforts and introducing various related initiatives that would support the aim.

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said the ministry will also continue to promote a green industry through different incentives like the green investment tax allowance.

“We are aggressively doing two things, one is to increase renewable energy (RE) in electricity generation and increase our efforts in being energy efficient.

“We’ve actually enlarged from nine activities and assets to 40 activities and assets. Corporates can invest to not only de-carbonise, but also to save electricity through the tax allowance that the government is offering to them,” Yeo said.

She said Malaysia has a country goal, evident by the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“Our national determine goal is to reduce 45% of carbon emission intensity by 2030, where 35% is commitment and 10% is conditional to international support and finance.

“We are on track to meeting our Paris Agreement, but we want to do more. The green industry will be a new frontier for growth, and we want to leverage on that. We aim to be a hub for green services and green engineering, serving the Asian region,” she said.

Additionally, Yeo said her ministry will announce the framework by the third quarter of 2019 for the RE100 initiative.

She said by Jan 1, 2020, RE100 companies will be able to implement the buying of electrons.

“We are in the final step of planning that, we are already talking some companies who have begun exploring this possibility on how we can make this happen. We want to tackle this as not only incentivising RE in the country,” she said.

She said any type of companies would be welcomed, including local and foreign companies, with incentives for first-movers.

“If companies are deciding on a headquarter for the region, this will be one of the advantages we can offer. When I make the announcement for the framework, then people will know the nitty-gritty details on how we can make this possible,” Yeo said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia is expected to spearhead an initiative that tackles climate change and its impact through the Malaysian Chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI) that was launched yesterday in Kuala Lumpur.

The initiative, hosted by the World Economic Forum, also places Malaysia on the map as the first Asian country with such a project.

The CGI was initiated by a group of non-EDs who sit on boards of various public-listed companies and aims to inform, engage with and encourage businesses to address the longer-term risks of climate change, which include financial risks.

The Malaysian Chapter’s main driver and initiator, Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar, said it is important for non-EDs’ to be equipped with sufficient knowledge and information that will allow for a meaningful contribution towards the dialogue on the financial risks of climate change.

“Corporate boards are a critical constituency in managing these risk, and strategically identifying opportunities. Decisions made in the boardroom have an outsized impact on our collective ability,” she said.

She added that business leaders are only now beginning to appreciate the full extent of the damage caused by this problem.

“We must act immediately to stem this, and reset our economic system to avoid the devastating effects as responsible actors in society,” Sunita said.

For this purpose, a set of CGI principles were developed to assist directors in deepening their awareness of the implications of climate change for businesses.

Sunita said businesses can no longer pretend to solve this issue on its own, but neither can the government.

“The scale of this challenge is such that we must all come together in a way that it takes us all out of our comfort zone,” she said.