CCUS bill not needed for Sabah and Sarawak, says Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: The proposed Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Bill is not necessary for Sabah and Sarawak, as these two states have separate land and forestry laws, says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic).

The Sabah Deputy Minister said the CCUS, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament later this year, does not apply to the Borneo States and should not cover Sabah and Sarawak.

“There is a clear constitutional separation of jurisdiction in that both land and forestry matters are state matters under the State List and under the purview of the Sabah government,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (June 19).

Kitingan, who is state Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry minister as well as Chairman of the State Carbon Steering and Monitoring Cabinet Committee, said this intention was made known to the National Climate Change Council meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in Putrajaya last Friday (June 14).

He said Sabah has arrangements to sell carbon credit sales from its two million hectares of tropical forests under the Nature Carbon Agreement (NCA).

“With its own carbon reduction program, Sabah will take responsibility for its carbon credit potential under its own Sabah land and forestry laws with or without the Federal government’s proposed new CCUS laws,” he said.

Kitingan said that, as recognised under Article 1(3) of the Federal Constitution, Sabah’s land includes land under water, and its boundaries have extended to the continental shelf since 1954.

He said Sabah is in the process of enacting its own carbon capture and utilisation laws and updating the Forest Enactment 1968, including making “carbon” a forest product.

“Thus, there is no necessity for the CCUS to be extended to Sarawak and Sabah,” Kitingan stated.

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