KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysia remains committed to its target of becoming a carbon-neutral nation by as early as 2050.
He said efforts to accelerate the growth of the country’s green economy, enhancement of energy sustainability and transformation of the water sector should remain at the core of the country's socio-economic development.
In this regard, the government will take into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in its decision-making process, he said.
To support this effort, Ismail Sabri said economic instruments such as carbon pricing and carbon tax will be introduced, while details of other measures for carbon reduction will be announced once the low-carbon long-term development strategy study is finalised by the end of 2022.
"The government has given a commitment to no longer build new coal-fired power plants. I realise this requires a concerted effort as well as a high level of green commitment and investment.
"However, I am confident that with the involvement of the Malaysian Family spirit, this aspiration is not an empty dream and this commitment will ensure that Malaysia is at par with the efforts of other countries to achieve global goals in tackling climate change and enhancing the country's competitiveness," he said.
He said this while tabling the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025 in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Currently, Malaysia contributes less than 0.7 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.
The government will continue to fulfil its commitment to reduce greenhouse gases emissions intensity per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 in line with the aspiration of becoming a low-carbon country.
The prime minister said a comprehensive National Energy Policy will be introduced to outline the strategic long-term direction in supporting the nation’s carbon neutral aspiration.
He added that cleaner electricity generation will be implemented through the operation of several gas power plants in Peninsular Malaysia to replace coal-fired power plants.
Laws related to energy efficiency and conservation will be introduced to regulate energy consumption by high-intensity consumers in the industrial and commercial sectors, said Ismail Sabri.
By 2025, renewable energy generation from solar, biomass and biogas is targeted to increase to 31 per cent of total installed capacity.
A cyclical economic model will be implemented under the 12MP to reduce pollution, waste generation and dependence on natural resources.
The concept of producer responsibility will be intensified to enhance the implementation of sustainable consumption and production.
Additionally, green investment will continue to be encouraged, including for projects under public-private and government-linked companies partnerships, he said.
The development of resilient green cities will continue to be intensified, and a total of 120 cities are targeted to achieve sustainable city status.
To this end, the implementation of the Green City Action Plan initiative and a multi-dimensional public data analytics system will be introduced.
The government will also give priority to the development of an energy-efficient vehicle manufacturing industry to support environmentally friendly mobility initiatives.
To ensure coordinated and comprehensive climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, a roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a national adaptation plan will be introduced, Ismail Sabri said.
"Besides that, the government's green procurement initiative will be expanded to the state government and local authorities.
"Through the implementation of this initiative, the government's green revenue is targeted to increase to 25 per cent by 2025,” he added.
The government also welcomes private sector initiatives towards achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.
"This move becomes increasingly important as trading partners, capital markets and financial institutions impose conditions on compliance with ESG principles in their investment decisions and production," Ismail Sabri said.
In the government's efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, the prime minister said civil society organisations (CSOs) would be recognised as development partners.
"For this purpose, the role of the CSO will be institutionalised in various governance mechanisms, especially in the implementation and monitoring of development programmes at the grassroots level to achieve the 2030 agenda," he added. - Bernama