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Govt urged to stop new O&G projects until carbon impact assessed
Published on: Friday, February 23, 2024
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Govt urged to stop new O&G projects until carbon impact assessed
RimbaWatch says governments and corporations should ensure that O&G activities will not worsen global-warming.
PETALING JAYA: An environmental group has urged the government to put a stop to new oil and gas (O&G) projects without first assessing the cumulative impact of their carbon lock-in on Malaysia’s short-term targets.

RimbaWatch said governments and corporations should monitor carbon lock-in from proposed O&G activities and disclose how such activities would not worsen global-warming.

“Carbon lock-in” refers to a situation where investments in certain infrastructure or technologies, particularly those reliant on fossil fuels like O&G, create a long-term dependency on carbon-intensive activities.

RimbaWatch referred to Block SK510, a shallow water hydrocarbon exploration block off the coast of Sarawak that was recently awarded to Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, Indonesian-owned PT Pertamina, and other partners.

“Pertamina has reported that the block could contain up to 6.6 trillion cubic feet of gas.

“Based on our preliminary estimations, gross emissions from this block could be up to 454 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, 28% more than Malaysia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, and 0.2% of the remaining global 1.5 degrees Celsius carbon budget,” it said in a statement.

It said there is a general consensus across all published studies that developing new oil and gas fields is “incompatible” with a 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

“In particular, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that if existing climate policies do not change, including those related to using gas as a transition fuel, we are on a trajectory for 3.2 degrees Celsius warming by (the year) 2100, which is more than double the 1.5 degrees Celcius target.

“A United Nations high-level expert group report has warned that ‘net-zero is entirely incompatible with continued investment in fossil fuels’, and that companies cannot claim to be net-zero while continuing to build fossil fuel supply,” it said.

Thus, high emitting activities, such as Block SK510, would impede Malaysia’s efforts to achieve its unconditional nationally determined contribution (NDC) target to cut greenhouse gas intensity against its gross domestic product by 45% by 2030.

It would also hinder the country’s international priorities to limit global-warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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