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Reducing Sabah’s carbon footprint
Published on: Friday, May 10, 2024
By: Hayati Dzulkifli
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Reducing Sabah’s carbon footprint
In fact, Dr Firdausi said the recent 28th Conference of Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has widely praised for Sabah good forest conservation governance, sustainable forest management and increasing carbon stock size of its totally protected forest areas. 
Kota Kinabalu: Sustainability is an important narrative in Sabah policy-making institutions, said Invest Sabah Berhad (ISB) Chief Executive Officer Dr Firdausi Suffian.

He said the grand Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) directive plan under the Sabah Government has a clear policy on sustainability with specific theme under this policy to ensure development is espoused with sustainability and inclusivity.

“The State Government introduced key game-changer policy in relations to decarbonisation, renewable energy and sustainability such as Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan, Blue Economy (first state to introduce the policy), Oil Palm Biomass Policy, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Enactment 2024. 

“All these policies are setting the tone for reducing carbon footprint and to meeting the global agenda for net-zero.

“Like our national government, Sabah policy makers have come out with sustainable governance and regulations some three decades ago to protect our forest, biodiversity and marine life,” he said.

Dr Firdausi said this in his speech at the ESG Initiative Awareness Forum with its theme “Think Sustainability Decarbonising Sabah towards 2050” jointly hosted by Invest Sabah Berhad, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and ESG Sabah Chapter here.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor, represented by State Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, officiated the forum attended by some 400 delegates comprising ambassadors, distinguished government officials, esteemed executives from government subsidiaries, academicians, foreign investors, and representatives from non-governmental organisations.

Also present were Invest Sabah Berhad Deputy Chairman George Wong Hseuh Cheng, ESG Malaysia President Steven Lee, ESG Sabah Chapter President Edward Chua and senior officials.

In fact, Dr Firdausi said the recent 28th Conference of Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has widely praised for Sabah good forest conservation governance, sustainable forest management and increasing carbon stock size of its totally protected forest areas. 

Under SMJ efforts today, he said Sabah’s Total Protected Areas has reached 1.9 million hectares. 

“Mind you, it is this State that made carbon emission trade-off for West Malaysia.

“I remember more than a decade ago, a question was asked to Sabahans to choose tree/monkey or coal. As we all know, coal plant is a cheaper source of energy.

However, for the love of environment, Sabahans chooses tree/monkey over coal, even though this decision may somehow limit generating energy for the industry and household. 

“Furthermore, based on the preliminary findings, Total Primary Energy Sources (TPES) for national in renewable energy comprising hydropower, solar and bioenergy constituted a mere 3.9pc. However, for Sabah despite our energy challenges, so far our TPES accounted for around 7pc higher than the national average.  

“Therefore, this clearly show that under the current leadership, we can see Sabah will continue working towards a greater sustainable development,” Dr Fidausi said.

He said the Federal and State governments are committed to low-carbon development aimed at restructuring the economic landscape to a more sustainable one in line with the SDG goals. 

He said pursuing economic development with sustainable agenda is nothing new in Malaysia and also Sabah. 

“Effort in doing so has been recalibrated, refreshed, and reaffirmed in national policy such as Madani Economy framework, 12th Malaysia Plan, Budget 2024, New Industrial Master Plan 2030 and of course National Energy Transitional Roadmap (NETR). 

“In particular, NETR has explicitly stated to meeting the country’s climate commitment to cut 45pc carbon intensity against GDP by 2030 compared to the 2005 baseline,” he said.

Dr Firdausi said the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is tied to the broad theme of sustainability and has been and continues to be an overarching concern in all policy levels. 

Hence, he said it is an important narrative and needs to be incorporated in our investment ecosystem.

“The role of Invest Sabah is pertinent in this matter, this organisation is poised to be frontier for attracting investment to the State. 

“We are committed creating favourable investment climate to attract quality investment to drive structural change with strong emphasis on technology, sustainability, and socioeconomic inclusivity.

“ESG are not mutually exclusive as it is interrelated by nature and important to factor in capacity, capability and feasibility in practising ESG.

It is known that with the advance of technology we can mitigate our environment degradation but at the same time we need to ensure capacity building is there so it will not compromise our society well-being,” Dr Firdausi said.

While configuring policy, he said there is a need to ensure it is practical and feasible by all. 

“One important thing we need to avoid at policy making is top-down disconnected, bottom-up disintegrated in pursuing sustainable resilience. 

“We have to work towards an inclusive approach, That’s why today we bring you this forum to discuss the broad challenges of sustainability, climate change and organisation agilities,” he said.

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