MoF finalising financing framework to scale up green agenda

Energy efficiency, RE development and green mobility will result in job creation, says MoF minister

by ANIS HAZIM/pic by Bernama

THE Ministry of Finance (MoF) is currently finalising the Integrated National Financing Framework to scale up the country’s green agenda.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said the framework would be tailored to Malaysia’s needs and requirements.

“While the world appears to be embracing the energy transition, it is critical to recognise that each economy is not at the same stage of development, with its own distinct national economic and energy goals,” Tengku Zafrul said in his speech during the Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit 2022 in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said MoF is also developing a more comprehensive, unified and explicit framework for sustainable finance through the Sustainable Finance Roadmap.

For the upcoming Budget 2023, he said the ministry has issued six public consultation papers, with three of them related to sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG), namely the application of ESG principles in investment by government-linked companies and MoF Inc, improvement of the government’s green procurement as well as the financing framework initiative for sustainable development.

Additionally, the ministry intends to work together with the private sector to ensure that the people who are most vulnerable to the transition are protected through the ongoing and continuous effort in this agenda.

“The government sees the private sector and businesses as partners in ESG leadership, whether it’s adapting to climate change, addressing social inequalities, or conserving our natural environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, he noted that energy efficiency, renewable energy (RE) development and green mobility will result in job creation.

“However, we must not underestimate the magnitude and difficulty of the transformations that will be required, especially in developing countries.

“It is critical that we consider the quality of employment in addition to the quantity of jobs that we seek to create, to make up for the potential jobs which will be displaced,” he said.

Hence, he foresees that the policies shaping the green transition must also promote social and economic equity.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the construction industry is in dire need of eco-friendly cement — also known as “green cement” — towards realising the nation’s aspiration to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Sime Darby Property Bhd group MD Datuk Azmir Merican said currently, there is no known substitute material for cement, noting that the cement industry is among the highest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2).

It was reported that the production of cement accounts for as much as 7% to 8% of global CO2 emissions.

“Cement is the most widely used man-made material on earth. About 4.6 billion tonnes of cement are used every year.

“Yes, we want to achieve net-zero (greenhouse emissions) but we don’t have the technology today,” he said at the summit.

Azmir said the construction industry’s ecosystem, as a whole, needs to evolve, noting that the transportation industry, which is the largest emitter of CO2, is also a big part of the construction sector.